Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 CoverBradbury truly had some thoughtful insights with regards to censorship, arguing with his novel that even censorship performed with “good intentions”––using the term in the loosest sense I can possibly command––can easily sink to horrible depths. But, Fahrenheit 451 is not just a warning of the dangers of unchecked censorship; it’s also a celebration of literature and the wonders, and horrors, that come with human thought.

I enjoyed the evolution of Montag, the protagonist, as he lived his life without questioning the status quo until the simple queries and stories from a young woman allows him to open his eyes to the failure of his life and the society in which he lives. Suddenly, he sees how he spent the entirety of his life ruining it, with everyone around him helping every step of the way. It is only as he attempts to fix things that those around him, including his wife and the fire chief––ironically, the man in charge of burning books being the most well-read character in the novel––doing everything they can to stop him. Nonetheless, Montag perseveres in every way he can.

Ultimately, Fahrenheit 451 is quite the grim tale, but the inspiration lurks just beneath the mud. I thought it was a great read, and I wouldn’t change a single word.