Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Reviewed by Hanna
The novel “Fahrenheit 451”, by Ray Bradbury has an intriguing plot that is unique and keeps you contemplating all the outcomes of the book. All the characters in the book have a great depth to them. A lot of backstory is given to each character, which helps you imagine how they would act and look in the real-world.
The book takes place in a town in America, but it is more futuristic and imaginative. In this odd town, firemen aren’t the heroes we know today, they create fires instead out putting them out. The main character’s name is Guy Montag. He has a wife named Mildred, who is obsessed with television and watches it non-stop. At the time, having as many TVs in your house was a sign that you are up to date with society. Reading was not a popular thing to do as it is today. There was a lot of censorship happening in the society, books were not allowed, thus, firemen burned books.
One day, Montag was coming home from a long day at work and meets a girl named Clarisse McClellan. She saw the world in a different way than everyone else. She secretly read books, did not like to socialize with others, and walked around to admire the world. The two of them discuss life and Montag’s job, and he realizes that he is empty inside. He doesn’t love his wife the way he should, and doesn’t enjoy his job. Montag gets home to his wife Mildred overdosing on sleeping pills, on the brink of dying. He gets her to the hospital in time and she is fine. After the terrifying incident, Montag thinks about Clarisse’s words more and more. At the fire station, they get a call about a woman hiding books, and the firemen go and take care of the violation. When the group gets there, they give the woman a choice, either to be easily let go but leave her books to burn or burn with the books. She chose to stay and burn with her books. Montag was horrified. He tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn’t change her mind. So, the firemen burned the house and the woman, without a worry or care. Before he leaves the burning house, he takes one of the books, his curiosity was running wild.
Time passes by, and news surfaces that Clarisse got hit by a car and died. Montag fell into a period of depression. He starts reading the books he had stolen from every fire he had caused. Montag hopes that the books will enlighten him on his empty feelings. He develops a deep interest for books and gets caught up in the stories. Montag misses a day of work, which triggers the suspicion of his boss, chief Beatty. Beatty comes to Montag’s house, and gives him a lecture on the duties of a fireman and that his job would be in jeopardy if he has books of any kind. Beatty also implies that a fireman only has 1 day to keep the books if he has any, and that he must turn them in at the end of the day or his home will be burned, following protocol. Montag tells his wife that he has a ton of books hidden in the air vent and he is reading them. Mildred is appalled, she goes back to watching abundant amounts of TV.
Montag reads the books, but doesn’t understand what the true meaning of the books are, so he calls a friend. Faber, an English professor helps him understand the books. Montag also makes a plan to change how people see books, he also convinces Faber to get on board with the plan and help him. Their plan was to place books in firemen’s houses and have people find it, so that firemen’s will not be trusted anymore. When they want to implement the plan, Faber and Montag communicate through an earpiece. One night, Montag comes home to his wife and her friends chatting and watching tv. Montag talks with them, but he also pulls out a poetry book and starts reciting it in front of the ladies. All the women were shocked and turned Montag in to the firemen for possessing books. Montag goes to the fire station the next day and turns in his books to Beatty. The station gets a call and the firemen go to the house, but when they get there, Montag realizes it is his house. Mildred was in a taxi escaping with all of her suitcases. Beatty forces Montag to burn his own house. After Montag was done, he was so furious that he also burned Beatty and killed him. The mechanical hound, a weapon used for the fire station, is set to kill Montag. The hound injects Montag with anesthetic causing one of Montag’s legs to go numb. He then kills the hound with the flamethrower. Before he leaves the front of his house, he goes into the backyard and finds the last of the books he had hid. Montag starts walking aimlessly not knowing what to do now. He gets to Faber’s house and realizes that another mechanical hound has been sent after him. He disguises himself in Faber’s clothes so the hound would not pick up his scent. TV cameras were also following Montag and his escape. He reaches a river and follows it. He finds a group of English professors and philosophers who enjoy reading and want to change society. They help him hide from the hound. Montag stays with them, and bombs fall from the sky demolishing the city. Montag and his buddies rebuild the city and society's rules.
Overall, this book was very enjoyable. The book had a great depth to it and was very unpredictable. I rate this book 5 stars out of 5 stars. It wasn’t too long and had a great source of advanced vocabulary.