Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel about a fireman who burns books, Guy Montag, who begins to doubt everything that he has learned, saw, and heard when he met Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse kept bothering him with questions and her carefree ways seems to him in contrast of what he's accustomed to. Clarisse's disappearance and his encounter with a woman who volunteered to be burned with her books has shaken his beliefs. He realized that he had had a desire all along to break away from the oppressive censorship and control of the government when he examines his secret collection of books saved from previous raids. Consequently, his life changed. Abandoned by his wife and hunted by his fellow firemen and the government, Guy Montag seeks answers and refuge.
Although Fahrenheit 451 was inspired by a specific setting and event, the idea of the media's tremendous influence on people is similar to today's dependence on technology. Censorship and control might not be as bad as in this novel, however the scenario is not impossible when we consider how much we depend on technology to help us with school/work, communication, entertainment, and more. Like the people in the book, there might come a time when people would prefer to have TV actors as family than real family and friends. There would be less conversation with other people because we prefer to stick earphones and listen to music for most of the day. An afternoon stroll for example would be considered a waste of time when there is "ready-made" entertainment. The book also touches on other themes like ignorance and knowledge, conformity and deviance.
For a short novel, Fahrenheit 451 is effective, stirring, and thought-provoking. It isn't hard to like Guy Montag as he struggles to choose which path he wants to take. He is sometimes stubborn but he is also confused and scared. His thoughts about his wife towards the end of the book was touching. Bradbury was able to place him on a level that most people can relate to when faced with a tough choice.
This is a great read and is one of Bradbury's best works I've read so far.
Rating: 10 out of 10