Fahrenheit 451 Essay examples

782 Words Mar 5th, 2013 4 Pages

Imagine a world with no free thought and where reading books is viewed as a threat to society and the happiness of its citizens. Ray Bradbury did just this in his novel Fahrenheit 451. Concerned by the rise of technology and the relationship between burning books and burning people, Bradbury sought to highlight the dangerous path that society is on, one that could lead to mindlessness and thoughtlessness. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury challenges thoughtlessness and promotes freethinking through the construction of his characters. He uses the character of Mildred and her friends to show the consequences of a superficial, dumbed-down society that focuses on pleasure, while Montag and Clarisse show the power and importance of free
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She talks to Montag of nature and her observations about the world, alongside things that Montag hasn’t even noticed like the length of billboards. Initially, her candid speech shocks Montag, who is not used to this kind of thinking. However, shock soon gives way to thinking of his own and he starts to question his job burning books. Clarisse acts a catalyst for Montag – inspiring him to think for himself and ask ‘why’ rather than ‘how’. Montag’s admiration for Clarisse is reflected by the reader and allows Bradbury to promote the value of freethinking. As Clarisse disappears and (we assume) is killed, the reader is forced to challenge a society where discussing nature could be considered a radical action.

Bradbury’s central character is Montag who has an important role as a fireman in the Fahrenheit society. At the start of the novel he loves his job – “It was a pleasure to burn,” but by the end he has killed his boss and fled from the very society he used to protect. This is a clever technique used by Bradbury, because when the enforcer starts to question the society then there must be something very wrong. Montag wants to read books, he wants to think for himself. This is difficult at first, he makes mistakes ad gets himself into trouble. However, by the end he has survived the destruction of the city and has eluded the Mechanical Hound. Bradbury shows us that Montag is not really happy in this society - “He wore his happiness like a mask” – which

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