Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is written in a dystopian society that is a nightmare for the bibliophiles. That sums up the entire plot of the story.
The story surrounds the fireman Guy Montag and his journey like any other, doubting the way of his life, his profession and everything he was taught and believed in. He is no ordinary fireman though. His job however is not to put out fire, but to start one. He lives in a society where books are illegal and scholars are criminals and are hunted down in literal sense, while the television takes up their entire life.
“You are not like others. I’ve seen a few. I know. When I talk, you look at me, when I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon last night. Others would never do that”
-Clarisse McLallen – Fahrenheit 451
This rendezvous with his neighbour Clarisse, change his view of himself and the entirety of his life and pave way for a journey he takes with a professor in hiding to find himself as one who enjoys a bit of curiosity and who realises he is the criminal who sets books on fire. This shows how much a society can fall in absence of books.
The story paints a scary picture of a world without books, a world where imagination and creativity is a crime and you get killed for it. The most scary part is, at some point, the story doesn’t feel like a piece of fiction anymore and feels more like a prediction for literary apocalypse. Which is a scary thought considering how most take books for granted in this modern “smart” world. The story, gives a great appreciation to the books and a ego boost to the bibliophiles as it practically says, ‘without books and imagination we are doomed’.
Is it a must read? – Yes.
Will you enjoy it? – It will probably be disturbing than amusing to you, as all dystopian stories go.
Should You read it anyway? – Yes.