Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was an interesting Science fiction
thriller that provided an odd view on the censorship of books. Not just some
books, but all books. An entire distorted culture and civilization where all
books are prohibited. And the penalty for being caught with books is that the
books must be burned and in some cases the penalty may lead to death. In this
tale of censorship and self discovery, Bradbury leads the reader through a short
period in the life of the protagonist, Guy Montag. A firefighter struggling
with his conscience to determine if a society without books is right.
Fahrenheit 451 has an entertaining theme and plot and a well paced story line.
This book combines catchy description and well thought out characters to put
together a gripping story that keeps the readers attention. It is interesting to
see how a once controversial topic could create such a dystopia in one place.
Fahrenheit 451 had many examples of good writing techniques that made it
a good novel. One technique that Bradbury did a good job of using was
description. He described things specifically using outstanding similes and
personifications. One example is how he mentioned the fire hose. He called it
“the great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world.” (Bradbury
3) This made the reader not only visualize the hose but get a feel for the mood
about the firemen at that time.
Another example of good description is how he
described the physical appearance of the firemen. “Their charcoal hair and
their soot-colored brows and their bluish-ash-smeared cheeks where they had
shaven close.” (32) The adjectives charcoal and soot-colored describe the color
of their hair but also are words that relate to their job as a fireman. Finally,
an excellent example of Bradbury’s descriptive writing was when Montag pulled
the trigger and set Captain Beatty on fire. “There was a hiss like a great
mouthful of spittle banging a red-hot stove, a bubbling and frothing as if
salt had been poured over a monstrous black snail to cause a terrible
liquefaction and a boiling over of yellow foam.” (117)
A different aspect of writing that made Fahrenheit 451 a good story was
the way he kept the book well paced. There were few dead spots in the story and
few spots that pushed the storyline along too quickly. Another aspect of the
story that made it enjoyable was the characters and their relations to each
other. Each character brought a special part to the story that effected the
plot and other characters. One of the most important characters was Clarrise.
She was the teenage girl that began Montag’s self realization that a world with
no books was wrong.
For that, Montag had a special appreciation for her. She
stated that ,”Didn’t firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get
them going.” (33) Another relationship in this novel that made it good was
that of Montag and Captain Beatty. Throughout most of the story had a strange
fear and hatred towards Captain Beatty. When Montag started to collect books
from the houses he and other firemen burned, he got extremely paranoid and edgy
with Beatty. He began to see Beatty as the absolute opposite of what he wanted
to become. Captain Beatty represented all of the evil in what they did to the
books. He taunted Montag for wanting to change his life around. “Go ahead now
you, second hand litterateur, pull the trigger.” (117) This was how Montag was
treated moments before he was about to end Beatty’s life. In all effect, the
relationships in this novel proved to be very relevant and well thought out.
Fahrenheit 451 was an excellent book that would interest many different
types of people. It contains a plot that brushes very close to a dystopia that
could happen in our culture today. Therefore creating a unique element of
suspense. Fahrenheit 451 is also a story about self discovery and change.
Readers would enjoy to read through Montag’s confusion with figuring out right
and wrong, and avoiding a government filled with ignorance. This book proves to
be packed with action, adventure and emotion. It is a science fiction tale that
will surly continue to intrigue minds, young and old for generations to come.