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April 21, 2018


Fahrenheit 451

by N@ncy


What makes Ray Bradbury’s novel so important?

  1. Science fiction had graduated from pulp magazines
  2. …to novels in the 1950‘s.
  3. Science fiction was being taken more seriously.
  4. Bradbury’s novel was one on the first paperback originals.
  5. The reason Fahrenheit 451  is on classic book lists:
  6. …the book was a response to
  7. …what was happening in Americn society at the time.


What were the satirical targets in Fahrenheit 451?

  1. National:
  2. The rise of television as a mass media
  3. Rise of Senator McCarthy and his witch hunts
  4. Fears of censorship
  5. International:
  6. Cultural purge staged by Stalin
  7. Book burning of the Nazis
  8. Fear of nuclear war (see end of the book)



  1. The narrative in Fahrenheit 451 is well-know.
  2. Bradbury imagines a repressive future society in which
  3. …books are prohibited.
  4. Firemen instead of putting out fires
  5. ….seek out caches of book and burn them.
  6. Montag, main character, begins to have doubts about
  7. the fireman system.
  8. Books make people think.
  9. People  don’t ask what….they ask why?
  10. The government considers this is a dangerous trend.
  11. Plot point:  Montag is willing to read the books he’s stolen.
  12. He wants to understand why they burn books
  13. …why there is so much hate in the world.
  14. Conflict: Beatty (fire chief) and  Montag play a cat and mouse game
  15. …until Beatty finally has the evidence he needs to arrest Montag.



  1. Fahrenheit 451 is rather blunt and has an unmistakable message.
  2. It has become a popular classic and
  3. …has never been out of print.
  4. It is often read in schools.
  5. But ironically the book itself
  6. …has been under attack.
  7. Parents in Florida, Mississippi and Texas
  8. …tried to get the book removed from school libraries!
  9. I enjoyed the book because it is a classic and
  10.  it is important to know what it is about.
  11. I am not a SF-fan…
  12. …it is always a challenge for me to read this genre.
  13. The inclusion of a mechanical (killer) dog was a bit over the top.
  14. Bradbury was having some fun with this firehouse dog .
  15. I did not understand the fighter jets flying around.
  16. They seemed to just appear!
  17. At the end of the book….we know their mission.
  18. I listened to the audio book
  19. …because I needed a ‘nudge’ to keep
  20. …me  interested in the book.
  21. So I got out my bikeIPOD and cycled 45 km today
  22. …and finished the book!
  23. #Classic   #MustRead  …be it reluctantly!
Read more from Classic, Scienc Fiction
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 22 2018

    Like you I’m not really keen on Sci-Fi. But I did like Fahrenheit 451 – as a dystopian novel it had that balance of fear and realism (mechanical killer dog excepted!)


    • Apr 22 2018

      I’m reading 1984 …and now have something to compare Fahrenheit 451 with.
      Bradbury is more upbeat…despite the circumstances. Orwell is giving me page and page of depressing literature. Face crime, newspeak, doublethink, not uplifting during a bike ride. Orwell saw privacy as one of the most necessary elements in a human’s life. I try to imagine what he would say about Facebook! People these days are very ‘casual’ about their privacy!


      • Apr 22 2018

        I’d agree. Of the two books I much preferred 1984 – it was altogether more believable and partly as a result all the more sinister. Been watching the BBC adaptation here of China Mieville’s The City and The City but for all the hype am a bit underwhelmed by it!


  2. tracybham
    Apr 23 2018

    This one is on my classics list and I hope to get to it soon. Another one I read when I was younger.


    • Apr 23 2018

      I never read many classics when I was younger…and I cannot imagine why.
      My parents and sister were voracious readers….but it did not rub off on me…why?
      High-school offered Othello…and The Scarlet Letter but not much analysis. I guess we as teen-agers were not interested. So I have been reading, and reading and reading as many classics as I can. Fahrenheit 451 was an adventure…but 1984 by Orwell was just as exciting. Took a morning bike ride and am starting Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (Modern Library Best 100 Novel List). Audio books are perfect for my daily 20 km cycling!



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