A dystopian novel where firemen burn books instead of putting out fires
“Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns…” is the tagline for this classic, best-selling book by Ray Bradbury. In this future, dystopian land, firemen burn books instead of put out fires. This short novel is often included in many of the “best fiction” lists out there. It has also been targeted for banning/censorship.
I’d place this book, alongside 1984 and Brave New World, as the founding trinity of dystopian novels. Fahrenheit 451 has elements of both. It’s dark, but not nearly as dark as Orwell – and has some of the entertain-them-to-death feel as Huxley’s satire.
Censorship – This is a book about literal book burning, written during the era of the communist scare and Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee. In this future world, knowledge is dangerous (especially books). Firemen go out and burn all the books they can find.
Population control through mass media – Similarly to Brave New World, the public is kept busy with sensationalist media and constant preoccupation with technology. If you keep people busy and their minds occupied, they will have no reason to want to read or even think on their own.
I liked this book and can see why it is often listed by people as a must read book. It’s not long at all and is an easy read. I find it highly ironic that a book which shows the dangers of censorship has been targeted and people have attempted to have it banned. I must say that a future like this would be absolute hell for introverts like myself.