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Many societies have strategies to encourage the culture of reading. With the advent of the Internet, reading has taken a new meaning. It is easy for students, scholars, and any other text-oriented people to access books online without the need to go to the library. Physical and e-libraries have lots of materials with information on various subjects that attract different people according to their interests.
Part of the most captivating plots ever written fall in the fiction category. Novels have come to represent the very best of man’s imagination. Though most of their content is fictional, books’ storylines closely reflect the life people lead on the Earth. They seek to portray the good and the bad of the human race within various contexts as the setting permits. One of these books is “Fahrenheit 451”, a 1953 novel written by Ray Bradbury. This essay is an analysis of “Fahrenheit 451”, an example of science-fiction masterpiece. The themes, messages, characters, topics, and settings of the novel are explored in the below sections of the paper.
Fahrenheit 451: Book Review
In Fahrenheit 451, a riveting story unfolds through the book’s storyline featuring a fictional future society, probably the American one, where reading is outlawed, and a ban on reading is imposed. Authorities affect the ban through burning books carried out by firemen.
When reading the novel, it is easy to agree that reading culture and freedom of expression of one’s thoughts through reading and writing is under threat of media such as television. Above all, the book reveals that people have become their worst enemies concerning reading and censorship and that the culture of ignorance and carelessness is taking its roots. There is an acute loss of intellectual thought in society.
Reading Fahrenheit 451’s provides a perfect revelation of a confused society at war with itself. Guy Montag comes home to find his wife overdosed and a new neighbor who reminds him of the unfulfilling life he leads. Despite participating in books burning, Montag is still not sure why he burns books, as evidenced by his stealing of one of the suicidal woman’s books.
Montag has a pile of books collected from the victims of book burning carried out by firemen. An argument with his wife about what to do with the stolen books opens Montag’s eyes, and he realizes his disgust for society. Montag realizes society’s pretense of happiness when he reads a poem from one of the stolen books, which makes one of his wife’s friends cry despite maintaining a “happy” life picture throughout her life (Bradbury 23).
The madness of the society’s onslaught on itself reaches the epitome when Beatty, Montag’s chief at work, orders him to burn his house. Probably from all the events, a dispute develops between Montag and the Beatty, the chief fireman. A war situation breaks out, and incineration of cities in the country takes place, a clear reflection of the permeation of confusion in society.
Analysis of Fahrenheit 451’s Main Themes
This section of the essay analyzes Fahrenheit 451’s themes. This kind of analysis gives the reader the perfect view of the explicit machinations of the state in promoting censorship and the flow of information. It is easy for a reader to see the blatant indictment of censorship as supported by the state. The firemen are on the government payroll, and their work is to impose a ban on books.
Through the book, the current situation in the world concerning censorship comes out. It is easy for any reader to find the current world situation concerning censorship and media gagging through a subtle and close reflection of what the book causes. But even more impressive is the precise reflection of the effects of television on society, especially concerning reading the literature.
One of the exciting insinuations in the book is the portrayal of people as their enemies. There is a blatant disregard of each other among human beings, the culture of alienation mainly fronted by the media.
In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred, Montag’s wife, is a clear representation of the current world, which is likely to turn into in the future thanks to the media. Mildred and her friends spend most of their time watching television walls in the “parlor,” intentionally ignoring the problems around them till the issues get out of control. There is the only preoccupation for them, which is the program schedule.
Clarisse helps Montag realize that what he is doing is wrong. Within that context, her character represents the voices of the reason that still exist in the chaotic world, the voices that still question the goings-on in the society despite the different obstacles that exist (Bradbury 47).
Fahrenheit 451 is every reader’s book with very infectious quoted and thought-provoking imagery, which explicitly puts the role entertainment, especially television, lack of concern for each other, and the casual attitude which has come to characterize the modern world.
The fact that the events occur in America, though fictional, is a stark reminder that repression is through book burning and is a serious event that can take place even in the most advanced society. Any reader will find it very interesting, primarily through the discovery that most of the hatred in the book comes from people themselves.
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How does Fahrenheit 451 end? In summary, the novel’s finale is hopeful. The city has been destroyed by bombs, but the books continue to live in in the “book people”.
As shown in this essay, Fahrenheit 451 is an example of masterpiece in its genre. The novel is analyzed by the scholars in numerous research papers and book reviews. Fahrenheit 451 gives any reader an opportunity to experience firsthand a 1950’s prediction of the world in the 21st century.
People have become slaves to their television sets and the Internet, people don’t bother to ask the root cause of all the crises and armed conflicts that have become characteristic of the 21st century, there is an avid promotion of violence which children access through video games; the drug problems are spiraling out of control.
Reading the book provides a deeper understanding of Montag, the main character, and how he represents the average person in the world today. Books burning and city incineration is a symbolic representation of the problems that bedevil the world mainly through entertainment enslavement.
In a nutshell, the book acts as an eye-opener and helps in comparing the current society to the Montag’s society, where TV reigns as a supreme authority. Additionally, life is fast, and all people tend to think they are happy, while in the real sense, they are not. The real picture of what people are going through comes out through the suicide attempts. It is, therefore, easy to recommend Fahrenheit 451 as the book with the true reflection of the society people live in nowadays.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.