Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was first published back in 1950 as “The Fire Man,” it was published as Fahrenheit 451 in 1953. This classic novel was the perfect choice to read during Reading Week.
I have read this book before in my language and few weeks ago I decided to read it in original. I knew it was about a fireman, Guy Montag, whose job is not to put out fires but instead to start them, burning books which are banned in the future world in which he lives. When we first meet Montag, he is seemingly content with his job and his life. But then he meets a girl who starts asking questions and opens his eyes to the reality of the world around him. A world in which people no longer read, but it’s no more than that. They no longer talk with each another about anything meaningful and silly (ludicrous). They spend their days in their parlors watching wall-to-wall televisions, interacting with their “friends” who appear on their walls and entertain them and that’s it, it is their everyday life.
I had gone into the novel thinking it was mainly about censorship and book burning, but it really isn’t. I was expecting the lack of books but not the complete world Bradbury creates in this novel. It was so dismal and depressing, and while the missing books contributed to that, it was also the lack of human interaction and caring, and the lack of knowledge and interest in learning about things, lack of the world understanding. It was a degradation of the humanity. It was more of a statement about the damaging effects of television.
I also found it to be a statement of the times in which it was written, in a sense. Bradbury, writing in 1950, would naturally think of a future world overrun with television, atomic bombs and fast cars. It was interesting to read a dystopian novel written so long ago because there is no reference to computers or other modern devices and equipment. For examples these “seashells’ that translate television channels and radio is a basic modern headphones. But many of his written things came true, became a problem for today.
There is certainly plenty of guessing as to what is going to happen next, and quite a bit of action to keep the story moving. Bradbury’s writing style is very mysterious and inspire me. His books read like a dreams, nightmares that came true. Mr. Bradbury and his book Fahrenheit 451 are beloved for me.