We live in a world where books are banned. The idea of reading is illegal. Books give you adventurous ideas and this isn’t right. Books became a notable way to influence people. There are firemen whose job is to burn these books and the houses they’re housed in. This is the concept behind Fahrenheit 451 and it’s executed excellently.
Plot – 4/5
Guy Montag is a fireman for the local fire service. However, firemen aren’t how we know them today – there to put out fires, no, fireman in Fahrenheit 451 are there to create fires. Yes, a fireman’s job in this book is to burn any literature that’s reported, the house it’s in and even sometimes the people who are reading said literature. However, one day Guy meets a young girl who asks him some questions that make him think about what he’s doing. He then begins to realise he’s not happy doing what he’s doing and he must rebel.
The premise for this book is great. I love the thought of something so many people love being banned because it allows them too much imaginative thought. Explored within this tale are the joys that poetry and literature can actually bring to people and how it opens up people’s minds, makes them think and essentially makes them feel. Ray Bradbury merely brushes over these topics though and due to the book’s short length, these topics and further possible ones aren’t covered as well as they could have been.
Characters – 3/5
Guy is a fairly generic dude. He follows the same routine every day, he lives for his work and that’s about it. There’s a lot of internal and external monologues given by Guy throughout the novel which show his personality to be one of defiance and stubbornness. He’s the man that’s hoping to change the way the world thinks, so this is necessary. Other characters are featured in the book and despite a companion he meets, later on, none of them stood out to be. His partner is supposed to be particularly cold and she certainly comes across like this.
I don’t feel like Ray Bradbury wrote this book to portray incredible characters, it was written with the intention of exploring the power of books and the effect these can have on people. Therefore everyone in this book is a bit wooden and stale for me.
Fahrenheit 451 summary – 4/5
I liked Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury has an excellent way of portraying speed and urgency within his text by using short sentences and lots of commas. He uses a lot of smart metaphors throughout too, some of which become confusing between metaphorical and realistic though, but not too often.
As I’ve mentioned, I think most book lovers will be able to get something out of this – though it may well be a nightmare of their bookshelves burning down in their sleep. However, for a book written almost 70 years ago, this still feels like a novel that could have been written in modern times (except they’d be burning Kindles…. Just kidding!)