Book Review : ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury - Why You Should Read It Now

 

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So, all you Book Nerds are here once again to know about amazing books that satisfy your thirst for knowledge and because reading books give you delight like nothing else. But imagine a world if books are banned from all areas of life and possessing, let alone reading them is forbidden. 


Any book lover will relate to this horror of the statement, but that's what makes Fahrenheit 451 amazing. It is not just about books being forbidden from reading, but it's also about freedom, ideas and Ray Bradbury was quite ahead of his time in this book showing problems of the world. 


Introduction


Book's Name - Fahrenheit 451


Author's Name - Ray Bradbury


Genre - Dystopian Fiction 


Language - English


Synopsis - Non-Spoiler Alert!


“It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.” Fahrenheit 451 opens in a blissful blaze and before long we learn what's going up in flames. 


In there, a world is imagined where books are banned and reading and having books is prohibited. Any information on even the existence of books and they are burned on the spot. The protagonist Montag is responsible for destroying what remains. 


But as his pleasure gives way to doubt, the story raises the critical question of how to preserve one's mind in a society where free will, self-expression, and curiosity are under fire. But as he set times ablaze day after day like ‘black butterflies’, his mind wanders to the contraband hidden in his home. 


Ray Bradbury asks the tough questions on how free we really are, and how we are institutionally controlled. With an awesome story and plot, you sure are in a treat for this one,


About the Author


Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter. He was born in August 1920 to Swedish immigrants in the USA, who were power and telephone lineman of English ancestry.


One of the most celebrated 20th century American writers, he worked in a variety of modes, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and realistic fiction. 


He is mainly known for Fahrenheit 451 and his short story collections. Much of his work is speculative fiction, but he also worked in other genres. He wrote and consulted many screenplays and television scripts including Moby Dick and many of his work was adapted into television and film productions as well as comics. Bradbury died in 2012 after a lengthy illness. 


About the Book


Fahrenheit 451 is a portrait of independent thoughts on the brink of extinction and a parable about a society that is complicit in its own combustion. The protagonist Montag is a fireman, who burns down books, but he has a couple for his curiosity. In Montag's world, Mass media has a monopoly on information, thus erasing all ability for independent thoughts. 


With ads blasting out of subway walls, to his wife listening to radio round the clock and his parlor walls are plastered with screens. At work, there is the smell of kerosene and his colleagues setting mechanical hounds to pass time. 


And when the alarm rang, they set out in salamander-shaped vehicles, to even burn down whole libraries at times.


Montag realizes he always felt uneasy but has lacked the descriptive words due to a lack of books, to express his feelings in a society where even uttering phrases like ‘Once upon a time' can be fatal. Fahrenheit 451 depicts a world governed by surveillance, robotics, and virtual reality, a vision that proved remarkably prescient.


Theme Involved


Fahrenheit 451 isn’t just a mere science fiction but also spoke to the concerns of that time. The novel was published in 1953, at the height of the cold war, This era kindled widespread paranoia and fear throughout the home country of the United States, amplified by the suppression of information and brutal government investigations. 


In particular, this witch hunt mentality targeted artists and writers who were suspected of communists' sympathies. Bradbury was alarmed at this cultural breakdown and believed it's a dangerous precedent for further censorship, and was reminded of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the book burning of the Fascists regime.


He explored these chilling connections in Fahrenheit 451, titled after the temperature at which paper burns and is quite a dystopian fiction masterpiece.


Famous Quotes


  1. “ ‘Stuff your eyes with wonder’ he said, ‘live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds.’ ”

  2. A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon.' 

  3. That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.'


The Bottom Line 


Fahrenheit 451 is one of Bradbury's greatest achievements, but why must you read that. In times of digitization and with information not being freely accessible, and communication platforms under scrutiny for data theft, you relate to it even in the current scenario. 


It makes you think if you are really free and questions your ideas.


My rating for the book - 4 on 5

You can buy a copy of this book - Fahrenheit 451


Written By - Ashish Joshi





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