May 12, 2014

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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.

I borrowed the summary from Amazon. Guy Montag has to start fires instead of putting them out. He and his colleagues burn books. He never questions his profession until he meets Clarisse while walking home. She talks about things he's never thought about and slowly his vision on his world changes until it eventually puts him in danger. 
I loved the world Ray Bradbury has created, it's a time without books and instead big screens and ear bugs are dominating everyday life. Guy Montag becomes as volatile as the fires he has to start. His growth is also his weakness in the society he has to live in. There are many threats hanging over people in general as there will be a war coming. Montag has to face his former employers who are now chasing him. It must be awful to live in a world without books. A story like this makes me think about life and the world we live in. It's a gift that we're able to have access to so many sources of information. Fahrenheit 451 is a fantastic philosophical novel and I hope this book will never disappear.

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