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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Review by Mia

fahrenheit 451 book cover

The novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury focuses on a dystopian society where there is no free thought or creativity.  People live in a world where books are burned, and they have become dependent on instantaneous entertainment.  If any person is caught hiding a book, they are incinerated.  Furthermore, everyone is stuffed full of mindless facts that mimic critical thinking and are told what to believe.  As a result, there is no controversy or conflict, but there is also no individuality or free thought.  Throughout the novel, the readers follow the journey of Guy Montag, a fireman in charge of incinerating books and upholding society.  As he begins to learn more about the past and questions why he must burn books, he fights through his inner turmoil and discovers what it really means to live.  After an unlikely encounter with a teenage girl and professor, he must figure out who he is and what he wants in life.  


If you enjoy political fiction and dark dystopias, this book is for you.  When I read Fahrenheit 451, I was amazed at how relevant this book is today and loved all its symbolism.  The novel explores themes of individuality, rebellion, freedom of thought versus censorship, and that conformity inhibits a person’s ability to think for themself.  Overall, this novel is a poignant warning about how instant gratification can control a person’s life.  


An aspect I liked about this book was how detailed the author was.  Through careful world-building, I was able to envision how Montag’s house looks and the parlor with television screens plastered on each wall.  Additionally, the use of metaphors, similes, and personification allowed me to construct vivid images of a scene or object.  Furthermore, the plot was very thought-provoking and addressed the concept of what it means to truly live and the legacy you leave behind.  


Another aspect I liked about this book was how Montag’s inner turmoil was brilliantly explored, with the style of writing changing depending on his mental state.  For instance, the sentences became more confusing and complex when Montag was confused or in a state of paranoia, allowing the reader to feel Montag’s emotions.  His manipulation of words put me in Montag’s shoes, and I could feel Montag’s anger or anxiety whenever he came under scrutiny.  


Although the book was full of suspense and thrills, I found myself becoming bored when reading certain sections of the novel and confused at Montag’s actions.  Some of the characters did not feel completely fleshed out, and many that were introduced with the premise that they would be important were dropped from the story without closure.  However, I liked how Montag developed throughout the novel, and he transformed into such a different man by the end of the book through a natural progression.  


If you love cautionary tales directed towards society and dark mysteries, I highly recommend that you check out this book!  It is a beautifully written warning that will impart a gripping message about the importance of free thought. 

Checkout Fahrenheit 451 from the Newport Beach Public Library.

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