Fahrenheit 451, the classic novel by Ray Bradbury, is a contemporary take on the Dystopian genre that presents a dark look into a futuristic world. The story follows Guy Montag, a fireman in this world of the future, who doesn’t do what you would expect a fireman to do. Instead of putting out fires, he starts them, by burning books of all shapes and sizes. This strange revelation proves to be the compelling factor of the novel and continues to be the backbone of its messages and themes. In this society, books of old knowledge are forbidden, and people have learned to accept this. However, the main conflict comes when Guy Montag realizes that this society is supressing everybody, and he begins a mission to bring books and knowledge back. The story carries themes of censorship, knowledge, and the pursuit of true happiness. All these topics are explored and continue to be relevant, even though Fahrenheit 451 was written in the 1950’s!
Additionally, Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a setting that suits its message. Although it is never named, the urban city gives off a cold and dark vibe. It feels empty and eerie at times, and this certainly helps to show that not all is right with this world. I also felt the influence of the classic World of Tomorrow symbolism from the 50’s, obviously influenced by the time it was written in. I also think that although the novel has a writing style which may feel a bit old-fashioned or hard to understand, It can still be accessible to teen readers. You may find the morals and goals of Guy Montag a bit muddled, but there are enough supporting characters that you will find one to relate to.
After reading this novel, I can say that I found it to be quite good and interesting. Its themes and message still matter today, and I found it cool to compare the futuristic vision in this book to our own world now. However, the book will only suit certain types of readers. If you like science fiction, deep messages, and don’t mind philosophical discussion, you should definitely give Fahrenheit 451 a go.
However, don’t expect there to be fast-paced action and thrills at every second. This is not that type of novel. Fahrenheit 451 is meant to entice the reader with its thoughts and expressions. It welcomes you to think… I would rate it 8/10.