In a post-apocalyptic scenario, firefighters in the United States no longer put out fires; they start them. In this future American society, books are strictly forbidden, and firemen are called upon to burn down entire houses where books have been found. Firemen take great pride in keeping civilization safe from the questions that books ignite, until, one day, Guy Montag, a reputable firefighter, begins to reflect his role in the annihilation of literature. His quest to discover the truth about literary works leads him into a deadly path to escape the state’s most powerful weapon: the mechanical hound.
The narrative is extremely enticing and captivates the reader on every page. Guy Montag’s journey and his reckless actions makes the reader sympathize with his attempts to better his society. The technology and the lifestyle in this futuristic dystopian novel further surprise readers. Guy’s wife is obsessed by screens with her “fake family” TV shows and the mechanical hound is programmed to hunt a specific individual. War is raging in the background. The book is short, and the story is filled with fast paced action. Overall, the story is engaging and will appeal to all readers. Fahrenheit 451 is a major page-turner.
On the other hand, some aspects of the plot seem pointless. Characters appear and vanish without wholly contributing to the narrative, and their stories are never fully explained. Clarisse, the most unique character in the novel, dies without ever making a significant impact to the development of the plot. Captain Beatty’s, the chief fireman, personality is never entirely explained either, although there are some attempts to uncover his motives for cruelty.
Overall, the story resonates positive lessons about the relation of books and authors. Books are the identity of a society, thus, burning books is the same as killing a person. Taking into consideration the narrative’s message but also its weaknesses in character development, it is a novel that will captivate readers while frustrating them at some points. Regardless of novel’s flaws, if you enjoy the dystopian genre, Fahrenheit 451 should definitely make your reading list!
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