FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury

FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 or 232° Celsius is the temperature at which book-paper catches fire.


The Hearth and the Salamander

Guy Montag was a fireman at a time in which firmen burn books, which are generally forbidden instead of extinguishing fire. They burn them, because they thought books would incite people to ask things they better shouldn´t know. One day on his way home Montag got know Clarisse McCellan, a 17 years old girl, who helped Montag to see the things and the people the way they really are. When he came home this night he found his wife lying in her bed, when he suddenly realised that Mildred had taken an hole bottle of tablets. On the next morning, Mildred did´t feel another way than day before, but Montag did. In the following days he often talked often with Clarisse about the way people used to live and the way things just were. She told him that her uncle said that once firmen extinguished fire. Considering that he knew this, he started to ask his co-workers about this. The next weeks he didn´t see her, when he suddenly got to know that she was killed by an accident. The following days were very hard for Montag.When he went to work again the alarm started ringing again. Their order was to burn all the books of a library, which was the property of an old woman. When Beatty, the captain of the fire-department, wanted to burn the books the old woman took a matchstick and did it her self. Montag, who took one of the books home, felt very guilty and didn´t go to work this day, but Beatty visited him and got to know that he hid a book and started explaining why books were so bad. After Beatty was gone, Montag took all the books he had collected within the last years and started reading them.

The Sieve and the Sand

When Montag started reading the books he realised that he had to learn how to read and understand them. He decided to visit Mr. Faber, a 'retired' English professor, whom he had met years ago in a park, when Montag cought Faber, while he was reading a book, but he didn´t notify him. While he was sitting in the undeground he started reading a book. The bible. He remembered the feeling he had, he felt the same way he was feeling when he was a little boy and tried to put sand in to a sieve. All the words he was reading got move in his brain and out again like the sand in a sieve. When he got to Faber´s house they started talking about books and got to know that both of them would like to do something against the burning of books (against the burning of the human mind).

When Guy got to work he gave one book back to Beatty to burn it, because Beatty had told him so. Montag began to do all the things he was doing the years befor, because he didn´t want to expose himself. Suddenly the alarm rang and they all jumped in to the salamander (= the fire engine). When they got to the 'scene of the crime' Montag realised that this was his own house.

Burning Bright

After Mildred had gone away with a taxi he found out that she had notified Beatty of reading and owning books. Beatty wanted Montag to burn his house himself. After doing this Montag took the flame thrower at Beatty and burnt him. When this horror scene came to an end Montag started running away. He went to Faber´s house to give him money to continue their work and to make sure if there really was somebody like him, who thought the way he did. After doing this Montag fled to the country, where he met some men who had once been professors at big universities. When they looked back they couldn´t see the city anymore, they only saw a big heap of rubble, because there was a 24 hours war which destroyed the cities. Montag and the other men decided to live a life of remembering all the contents of the books they had read for all the humans who wanted to know something abouth the past.

My opinion:

To me this book says that not only reading but remembering of the past is important to our human being, because when we feel alone and think that there is no way out we can remember, with the help of books, the wonderful times we had.

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