Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


I nearly, rather ironically, set fire to this book taking this photo.

Fahrenheit 451 seemed like a logical next step from 1984; published five years afterwards Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel deals with a similar annihilation of culture. Like Winston Smith, Guy Montag is responsible for the removal of media offensive to the state. In this case: books. Guy is a fireman and in Ray Bradbury’s reality firemen start fires. The aim is public happiness, the removal of stories deemed too offensive or too uninspiring to the people. In reality this means all books.

Fahrenheit 451 has never been my favourite dystopia. It’s always felt like too specific a premise to truly be a meaty, believable world. The characters are slightly less compelling (why are all the women mindless conformist drones except one?) and I think the plot works better if you view it as sort of surreal rather than realistic. Still, I appreciate the intention and historical context. 
Regardless of how I feel about the style, though, the concept of book burning and the overtaking of non-written media is still an important one, even today.

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