This essay is about the novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury. It was published as a short novel The Fireman in 1951. The book portrays the future Americans as self-indulgent people who are forbidden from reading any kind of literature by the media. Guy Montag, the main character is employed as a firefighter, which implies a book burner in the novel's future. The title Fahrenheit 451 refers to the hypothetical temperature at which book paper combusts. Bradbury entitled the book as Fahrenheit, with the thought that it acted as a critical analysis of what he saw in the American society of that era-the cold war era. That is, firefighters who burnt books and novel claimed that it was for the good of society (Bradbury).
Fahrenheit 451 has a plot that is set in an indefinite future time in a society that has abandoned self-will, because of their self-gratifying and irrational behavior. This society is filled with lack of control in every aspect of life ranging from teenagers who cause mayhem by crashing cars into people to the firemen who confined people that are caught in possession or worse reading any kind of book or literature deemed to be illegal into a asylum. Books like the Bile ads other famous works of literature like the Bible were considered to be illegal and it was the responsibility of the firefighters to burn these books.
This book generally presents the metamorphosis of Guy Montag the firefighter, who is the central character. He presents the themes through the eyes of a loyal firefighter, a man who is in conflict about his job, and one who is determined to be free of it. Throughout the book, Guy lacks the general understanding of things and in most instances tends to believe what he hears. One day as he goes back home, he meets Clarisse McClellan who asked why things were done ad not how. Clarisse is freethinking principles and vigor leads him to a trail of thoughts on his own life and principles. McClellan is the wake-up call in Montag's life as she was perceptive and shrewd as opposed to Mildred Montag who was the direct opposite of Clarisse.
After the meeting with Clarisse, Montag finds Mildred, his wife asleep after an overdose of sleeping pills. On observing the technicians paying no attention to his wife who was being given a blood transfusion, Guy wonders what has affected society to the extent of his wife taking an overdose and lack of cohesiveness in society. The book uses Mildred figuratively as a character who is the direct opposite of Clarisse who is cheerful, full of life and outgoing.
In the subsequent days, while ransacking the house of an old woman with the other firefighters, Montag happens to read a line in one of the books: "Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine". This statement makes him steal one of the books before they burnt them, which was actually their job. The woman refuses to comply and instead chooses to torch herself up together with her books. Montag is surprised on why anyone would prefer to die for the sake of books, which to him valueless.
Montag becomes ill because of the woman committing suicide and calls in sick. Chief Captain Beatty, his boss visits him and explains to Guy the social and political effects their job had on the public. Captain Beatty argues that the society led to suppression of literature in the search for pleasure, a situation the government took advantage to ban the reading of some books and literal work. Captain Beatty resulted in hating books because of what he termed as calamities of life and that books counter and disagree with each other. Beatty plots his death to implicate Montag murder. Montag realizes this later on and runs for his dear life.
After Montag realizes the danger he was in, he approaches Faber, a former English professor who helps him make an escape. Faber who is aware of the occurrence but is fearful to act as he might end up like Montag, however he helps Montag to flea. He fleas the city and the security pursue him but they do not manage to catch him so they make a cover-up ad kill someone else.