Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

Paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit.

So does civilization.

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

Comments

  1. #1 Brainstorms
    February 15, 2017

    “His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.”

    I don’t recall this from the book, but in the 1966 Francois Truffaut based on the book, the job of the firemen was to merely burn the books — not the houses as well.

    In cases where the house is a virtual library, or is suspected of harboring additional books squirreled away in the walls or hidden coves, they would burn the structure, but that was not the norm.

    We might note that Mildred’s favorite TV shows were –yes, you guessed it– reality TV.

    The cinematography, sets/production design, etc., and the 1960’s styles add to the reasons to see this film.

    Trivia: This was Truffaut’s only English language film. And he and Oskar Werner (Montag) fought quite a bit during the filming, culminating with Werner cutting his hair in an attempt to sabotage the film (this is reflected in the last act at the Book People’s camp).

  2. #2 MikeN
    February 15, 2017

    Yet liberals keep complaining about Citizens United, all the way to the Presidential candidates. In arguing this case before the court, Obama’s Solicitor General took the position that the government had the power to ban books, as long as they were published by a corporation.

  3. #3 Brainstorms
    February 15, 2017

    Corporations are not people. Period.

  4. #4 MikeN
    February 15, 2017

    Should the government have the power to ban books that speak about a presidential candidate?

  5. #5 Wow
    February 16, 2017

    Yet libertarians don’t want to accept reality.