Skip to content
Summary Book

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a book written by Ray Bradbury. It is a work that deals with a controversial theme about the burning of books, where texts were prohibited, since they considered that they were harmful and perverse, especially literature.


Characters from “Fahrenheit 451”

The main character in the story is Guy Montag, who is a firefighter who is responsible for burning the books. We also find other supporting characters such as Clarisse McClellan, a seventeen year old girl; Mildred is Montag’s wife; Beatty is the fire chief; Granger is the leader of the group of book lovers, called “The People of the Book.”

Summary of the work

The play begins with firefighter Guy Montag who was in charge of burning the books in a futuristic United States metropolis. This character has an encounter with a seventeen-year-old girl named Clarisse McClellan, who leads him to change his vision and to see further with his questions and his strange love for people and nature.

Some time later, Montag begins to experience certain disturbing events. First his wife, Mildred, tries to kill herself by swallowing some pills to fall asleep. Later, he receives the news that an old woman has hidden literature, but she prefers to be burned next to her books. Later, he learns that Clarisse was in a car accident and died. In this way Montag is frustrated and begins to search among some books that he stole and has hidden.

When Montag is not going to work, his fire chief, Beatty, goes to his house, telling him to spend twenty-four hours or so to see if his stolen books have any content of interest and then turn them over to burn. So this one starts digging into the books. But Montag felt very overwhelmed so he asks for help and Faber agrees to help him.

For his part, Beatty thinks that literature is morbid and very harmful, and that it deserves to be burned. Then the alarm goes off and he realizes that the call is coming from Montag’s house. Meanwhile, Mildred leaves in a taxi with his suitcase, and realizes that his own wife has betrayed him. So Beatty requires Montag to burn down his house himself; When he finishes doing it, Beatty arrests him, and continues to reprimand him, and he turns the flamethrower and burns his superior. Montag hits his fellow firefighters and runs away.

See also  Like water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel

While on television, everyone watches the persecution, but Montag manages to flee to the river, where he puts on Faber’s clothes to remove his scent, he goes river towards an abandoned railroad tracks, until he gets a group of renegade intellectuals called “The People of the Book,” led by Granger, who receives it.

These people are lovers of texts and have given themselves the task of memorizing great works, which they hope will be of great help after the war that has broken out ends. So Montag was commissioned to memorize the Book of Ecclesiastes. On the other hand, enemy jets circle the sky and totally destroy the city with bombs. But Montag, and this reading group, are still looking for survivors in order to reform civilization.

Analysis of the book

“Fahrenheit 451” is a work that addresses a very controversial subject, since it tells the story of a firefighter who aimed to burn books, since in that futuristic city, texts were considered to be harmful to humans. However, this character had hidden stolen books, and when he was betrayed by his wife, a War breaks out, in which the city is completely destroyed.

In this sense, Fahrenheit 451 presents us with the society of the American future, in which texts are prohibited and firefighters are in charge of burning any type of book they find. The title of the work is related to the right temperature for a book to catch fire. This book consists of three fundamental parts: “The hearth and the salamander”, “The sieve and the sand” and at the end we find “Burning intensely”

On the other hand, we can see characters who struggle to maintain their position, such as Montag, Faber and Beatty, in which everything focuses on the tension between ignorance and knowledge. In this way, the main objective of the firefighter is to burn knowledge and encourage ignorance, to promote equality in the nation.

See also  Analects of Confucius

In this way, this work gives us a double message, somewhat sarcastic, about what the future society will be like, in which knowledge is undermined and prohibited, to avoid opinions and ideas that could be controversial or even anti-moral. Therefore, literature was especially considered harmful and morbid. But in the work, the author presents us with an adverse stance through the group of reading fans, who aimed to memorize the great works, to leave something to humanity after the war unleashed.

It should be noted that this war was unleashed as a result of the betrayal of Montag’s wife, who told authorities that her husband was hiding books. All this achieved a persecution, since Montag managed to flee. However, the city was totally destroyed. So the author’s message reveals the contrast of ideas that can cause the total chaos of humanity.

Quotes from the book

“Then it was the hand that started it all. . . Her hands had been infected, and soon they would be her arms. . . Their hands were voracious. ”

 “A book is a loaded weapon in the house next door … Who knows what the objective of the man who has read a lot may be?”

“There has to be something in the books, things we can’t imagine to make a woman stay in a burning house. There has to be something there. You don’t sacrifice for anything. “
 “If you hide your ignorance, no one will hurt you and you will never learn.”

“Good writers touch life often. The mediocre touch it quickly. The bad guys rape her and leave her to the flies. ”

“The magic is only in what the books say, in how they united the various aspects of the Universe to form a whole for us.”

“You are not like the others. And I have seen many, and I know them. When I speak you look at me. Last night when I said something about the moon, you looked up at the moon. The others would never do something like that. The others would either leave me alone or threaten me. Now nobody has time for anyone. “