Bradbury shows how horrible a society can become when it denies the necessities of imagination and true communication and sticks, instead, to material goods alone Longman As described by Bradbury, firemen serve as a futuristic analogue of the medieval inquisition, which burns books and sometimes their owners as well. Montag never questions the norms adopted by the society in which he lives—he simply does his job.
One evening, as he returns home from work, he suddenly sees a strange girl following him. When they start talking, the fireman notices that this girl, Clarisse, is different from her peers. She asks him questions that make him anxious, and does not behave the way people in his world usually do. Unlike them, she is a romantic, and lonely. As they are saying goodbye, Clarisse asks Montag if he is happy, but he cannot give an unequivocal answer. Montag goes home, opens the door, and in the darkness of his apartment, attempts to deal with a surge of emotions.
Suddenly, he comes to the conclusion that his entire life up to this moment was a kind of a mechanical existence. When Montag goes into his bedroom, he sees his wife Mildred lying unconscious in bed with her eyes wide open. She had swallowed too many sleeping pills, though the story is not clear whether it was on purpose or an accident. During recent years, Montag and Mildred have not been too close, each of them were simply living their own lives.
Montag simply goes to work, returns home, and then falls asleep. Despite their marriage having become fiction a long time ago, Montag is still worried about his wife and calls for an ambulance. Bradbury emphasizes that in this world, incidents like this overdose have become so regular that a special machine for rapid blood transfusions has been invented. Handymen, not doctors, equipped with these machines come quickly do their job, and leave.
Mildred is saved, but the next morning, when Montag asks her why she took so many pills, she denies that she could perform an act deemed as suicidal. She suggests that perhaps she had had too much to drink at a party last night. He starts noticing aspects of life he never noticed before, and begins to do simple but spontaneous actions like tasting the rain and laughing.
Clarisse tells him about herself and about her visits to a psychiatrist. When she disappears, her whereabouts are unknown to him for a period of time.
During the search, Montag unexpectedly finds a book and hides it. He hears a noise and goes to see what it is about. An old lady, living in this house, refuses to abandon it. When the firemen threaten to burn down the place, Montag is the only one who asks her to leave. He even tries to take her from the residence, but she only thanks him, stands in a middle of a kitchen doused with kerosene, and strikes a match.
At home, Montag is shocked to find out from Mildred that Clarisse is dead: The next day, Montag feels sick. He cannot even make himself get up and go to work, so his fire chief, captain Beatty, comes to visit him. Beatty tells him the story of how firemen started burning materials instead of extinguishing them.
He emphasizes the harm books may inflict. According to Beatty, books make people think, and people who think always differ from those who do not.
He believes minorities should be merged into one and personal differences must be smoothed. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man is the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.
Take the shot from the weapon. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? She shows it to Beatty, but he says that it is a common happening among firemen to become interested in the materials they usually burn.
He gives Montag 24 hours to burn the book or it will be done by the fire department. Montag understands what Beatty tried to tell him, but it is too late for him to quit. He thinks books might have the answers that could save this ignorant, apathetic society he lives in—so he starts to look for people who share his new outlook.
He suddenly remembers and contacts Faber: Together the story traces the emotional and spiritual development of Guy Montag, a twenty-fourth century "fireman" who, unlike his distant predecessors, is employed to start fires rather than extinguish them. Under government mandate to seek out and eradicate all books—in Montag's world, book ownership is a crime punishable by death—Montag and his colleagues answer emergency calls to burn the homes of people found to be in possession of books.
The first and longest part of the novel, "The Hearth and the Salamander," opens with Montag happily fueling a blaze of burning books. This event is followed by a period of gradual disillusionment for Montag and then by Montag's abrupt renunciation of his profession. Montag's surprising reversal is induced by several events, including his chance meeting and interludes with Clarisse McClellan, a teenage girl whose childlike wonderment initiates his own self-awareness; the bizarre attempted suicide of his wife Mildred and Montag's reflections upon their sterile relationship; and Montag's participation in the shocking immolation of a woman who refuses to part with her books.
During this last episode, Montag instinctively rescues a book from the flames and takes it home, adding it to his secret accumulation of other pilfered volumes. The strain of his awakening conscience, exacerbated by Mildred's ambivalence and by news of Clarisse's violent death, drives Montag into a state of despair.
When he fails to report to work, Captain Beatty, the fire chief, becomes suspicious and unexpectedly visits Montag at home to offer circumspect empathy and an impassioned defense of the book burners' mission. Beatty's monologue establishes that the firemen were founded in by Benjamin Franklin to destroy Anglophilic texts.
Beatty also claims that book censorship reflects public demand and the naturally occurring obsolescence of the printed word, which has been supplanted by the superior entertainment of multimedia technology. The scene closes with Beatty's exit and Montag among his books, professing his intent to become a reader.
The second and shortest part of the novel, "The Sieve and the Sand," continues Montag's progressive rebelliousness and ends in his inevitable discovery.
After an afternoon of reading with Mildred, who quickly becomes agitated and returns to the diversion of her television "family," Montag contacts Faber, a retired English professor he once encountered in a public park. At Faber's apartment Montag produces a stolen Bible.
Faber then equips Montag with an electronic ear transmitter to maintain secret communication between them.
Invigorated by Faber's complicity, Montag returns home and rashly attempts to reform Mildred and her two friends, Mrs. Bowles, as they sit mesmerized by images in the television parlor. His patronizing effort at conversation, along with his recitation of Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach," drive the women out of the house and leave Montag in open defiance of the state.
Montag retreats to the firehouse, where he is greeted coolly and goaded by Beatty with literary quotations alluding to Montag's futile interest in books and learning. The scene ends with a minor climax when Beatty, Montag, and the firemen respond to an alarm that leads directly to Montag's own house.
The third and final part of the work, "Burning Bright," completes Montag's break from society and begins his existence as a fugitive, enlightened book lover.
When the fire squad arrives at his home, Montag obediently incinerates the house and then turns his flamethrower on Beatty to protect Faber, whose identity is jeopardized when Beatty knocks the transmitter from Montag's ear and confiscates it. As he prepares to flee, Montag also destroys the Mechanical Hound, a robotic book detector and assassin whose persistence and infallibility represent the terrifying fusion of bloodhound and computer.
Following a dramatic chase witnessed by a live television audience, Montag evades a second Mechanical Hound and floats down a nearby river, safely away from the city. He emerges from the water in an arcadian forest, where he encounters a small band of renegade literati who, having watched Montag's escape on a portable television, welcome him among their ranks. Through conversation with Granger, the apparent spokesperson for the book people, Montag learns of their heroic endeavor to memorize select works of literature for an uncertain posterity.
Safe in their wilderness refuge, Montag and the book people then observe the outbreak of war and the subsequent obliteration of the city. The novel concludes with Granger's sanguine meditation on the mythological Phoenix and a quotation from Book of Ecclesiastes. Fahrenheit reflects Bradbury's lifelong love of books and his defense of the imagination against the menace of technology and government manipulation. Fire is the omnipresent image through which Bradbury frames the dominant themes of degradation, metamorphosis, and rebirth.
As a destructive agent, fire is employed by the state to annihilate the written word. Fire is also used as a tool of murder when turned on the book woman and on Beatty, and fire imagery is inherent in the flash of exploding bombs that level civilization in the final holocaust.
The healing and regenerative qualities of fire are expressed in the warming fire of the book people, a startling realization for Montag when he approaches their camp, and in Granger's reference to the Phoenix, whose resurrection signifies the cyclical nature of human life and civilization.
Through Beatty, Bradbury also posits the unique cleansing property of the flames—"fire is bright and fire is clean"—a paradoxical statement that suggests the simultaneous beauty and horror of fire as an instrument of purification.
Montag's irresistible urge to read and his reaction to the desecration of the physical text establish the book as the central symbol of human achievement and perseverance.
Thus literature, rather than Montag, can be said to represent the true hero of the novel. However, Bradbury contrasts the sanctity of the printed word with the equal vitality of oral tradition, particularly as cultivated by the book people but also as anticipated by Faber's earlier intent to read to Montag via the ear transmitter.
Throughout Fahrenheit Bradbury expresses a pronounced distrust for technology. The various machines in the novel are depicted as chilling, impersonal gadgets of mechanized anti-culture or state control—namely the ubiquitous thimble radios and television walls, the invasive stomach pumper that revives Mildred, roaring warplanes, and the Mechanical Hound.
Considered in its historical context, the novel is both a reflection of mainstream American fears in the s—mainly of the Cold War and the threat of communist world domination—and Bradbury's satire of this same society. Taking aim at the negative power of McCarthy-era anti-intellectualism, a superficial consumer culture, and the perceived erosion of democratic ideals, Bradbury assumes cloaked objectivity in the novel to project the fragile future of the American Dream.
Written less than a decade after the end of the Second World War, the specter of book burning and thought control also recall the recent reality of Adolf Hitler's fascist regime. At its most dystopian, Fahrenheit evokes an intense atmosphere of entrapment, evidenced in Montag's alienation, Mildred's dependency on drugs and television, Faber's reclusion and impotency, and Clarisse's inability to survive.
Bradbury's prophetic vision, however, ultimately evinces confidence in the redemptive capacity of mankind, displayed by the survival of the book people and the miraculous inner transformation of Montag.
While Fahrenheit is considered one of Bradbury's most effective prose works, the novel has been faulted for its sentimental evocation of culture and "highbrow" literary aspirations.
Bradbury's justification of intellectual pursuit as a virtuous and humane ideal, with reading portrayed as a heroic act in itself, has been labelled romantic and elitist. Since Bradbury does not refute Captain Beatty's version of the firemen's history or his convoluted rationale for censorship, critics have claimed that the novel has the effect of positioning intellectuals against the masses, rather than the individual against the state.
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“Fahrenheit ” by Ray Bradbury The dystopian novel Fahrenheit written by the famous fiction writer Ray Bradbury in tells the story of a year-old fireman, Guy Montag. In the beginning, he is a loyal servant of a consumerist society that was encumbered by heavy censorship and a pending war. In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit , you journey to the 24th century to an overpopulated world in which the media controls the masses, censorship prevails over intellect, and books are considered evil because they make people question and think.
Essay on Fahrenheit , by Ray Bradbury Words | 4 Pages. In Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury, irony is used to convey information and it contributes to the overall theme of the novel. Written during the era of McCarthyism, Fahrenheit is about a society where books are illegal. Fahrenheit 5 paragraph essay.. Posted on March 27, by stephaniehutton1 The book “Fahrenheit ” by Ray Bradbury was about a fireman name Guy Montag.