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Fahrenheit 451 Response

  • Date Submitted: 04/20/2011 10:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.9 
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Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 is the story of a fireman in a future where firemen burn books instead of saving houses; the houses don’t burn due to a fireproof coating. The fireman, Guy Montag, burns books because people have grown to fear intellectual matter of all sorts, they prefer to be entertained by television-like walls or listen to in-ear radios that look similar to a seashell. The television is mostly hollow story-less interaction between people with sudden loud noises to physically simulate an emotional reaction for the audience. Because society has banned books and fireproofed houses, the firemen became the book burners of the future and the people have become incredibly hedonistic and almost robotic in behavior. They not only fear intellect but also fear emotion as evidenced by an angry outburst my Montag’s wife’s friend after Montag read a poem aloud. One of the most disturbing aspects of this future populace is when Mildred, Montag’s wife, reveals that she will drive incredibly fast and hit animals on the road in order to deaden whatever emotion she has.
The story follows Montag as he starts to doubt his way of life after meeting a free-thinking and unorthodox girl that asks him questions that make him really think. Montag’s doubt leads him steal books and try to understand them, much to the chagrin of his wife, who is far more concerned with continuing to “enjoy” her television shows. Montag meets up with a former English professor to help him understand the books that he has stolen and start planning a sort of underground book printing scheme. Unfortunately, all the planning is for naught. Fire Chief Captain Beatty learns of Montag’s book keeping ways and theatrically forces him to burn his own house and books. Montag then turns his flamethrower on Captain Beatty and runs away. He is pursued by a mechanical hound that hunts by scent and kills by injecting the victim with a massive dose of morphine or procaine. He escapes by washing away his...

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