Fahrenheit 451 has been on ‘to read’ list for such a long time so recently when I went book shopping I decided to finally give it a try. I’m a huge fan of dystopian novels, and the plot of this novel drew me in immediately. I’m such a huge reader (as you can probably see by the name of my blog haha) – to think of a world or society where reading is outlawed and burning books is the norm proved intriguing to me.
Reading and books in general is such an integral part of my life and it makes me sad to think of the decline of physical reading and libraries. There are few things in life that make me as happy as curling up with a good book!
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
- The title of the novel itself – the story behind this also really drew me in – in case you didn’t know 451 is the temperature books burn at. This is a little fact that made me appreciate the title even more, and I thought it was quite clever.
- I enjoyed the way the book explored ideas that technology aids in creating a distance between people and breeds an intense loneliness. I believe Bradbury was definitely ahead of his time, as the book was published in 1953 – and we can definitely see the negative influence of technology upon relationships and society in general. While I believe there are more positives with the advancement of technology , it’s clear to see that it has created a certain level of disconnect.
- The writing was full of metaphor and there were some points where there was such a juxtaposition between the poetic language and the bleak nature of the setting that I was really taken in by it all.
- The entire novel shows how powerful the written word is and the power of knowledge – without which there is little beauty and a zest for life. I can appreciate it and it definitely renews my belief in the importance and value of fiction.
My favourite quotes:
“The books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.”
“The moonlight distilled in each eye to form a silver cataract.”
“You could feel the war getting ready in the sky that night. The way the clouds moved aside and came back, and the way the stars looked, a million of them swimming between the clouds… and the feeling that the sky might fall upon the city and turn it to chalk dust, and the moon go up in red fire.”
“Light the first page, light the second page. Each becomes a black butterfly.”
Have you read Fahrenheit 451? If so, what did you think? If not, would you like to?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Until next time,