Fahrenheit 451 by Paul

Fahrenheit 451

Named after the temperature at which paper burns, ‘Fahrenheit 451’ is a book I’m very fond of.
Written by Science Fiction Author Ray Bradbury and published in 1953 it presents a future society in which books are outlawed.
Enter Guy Montag, a fireman whose job it is to burn them

Montag loves his job, it’s a pleasure for him to watch books burn, but after an encounter with a young, free thinking neighbor he starts to question what he is doing.
Feeling conflicted, he tries to speak to his wife about his dilemma, but she cares little for what he has to say.
In this world entertainment rules over conversation and people are indifferent to the feelings of others.
As Montag finds himself ever more alienated by what’s going on around him he turns to books he has stolen for answers.

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Montag’s internal struggle starts to attract the attention of his Boss, Captain Beatty, a once avid reader who taunts Montag with his knowledge of literature to show how contradictory books can be and why they should be burned.
He argues that if you don’t want a man unhappy, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him.

It took Bradbury, then 26 years old, only nine days to write this book on a rental typewriter, ironically at a library.
Troubled by McCarthyism which was going on at the time, Bradbury chose to write a social commentary in a Science Fiction context.
His vision of the future is one where people pay more attention to TV screens than to what’s really going on around them.
The book foresees the invention of Flat screen TVs, earbuds and electronic surveillance.
For science fiction ‘Fahrenheit 451’ can be an uncomfortable read because it’s a book that will always be relevant.
Bradbury shows us a future of what might be if we allow it. While we currently live in a world that doesn’t burn books, that may not be a victory, as Bradbury himself once said “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

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