• Year Published: 1953.
  • Pages: 159.

Fahrenheit 451 Summary

Written by Ray Bradbury as a classic literature of the 24th century, Fahrenheit 451 tells a compelling tale about a fireman who turned his life around after a series of life-changing circumstances made him question his profession and collective upbringing that has caused oppression and coercion to people who do not conform to the viewpoints of the society.

This book offers a radical view of what it feels like to live in a community where knowledge and awakening are frowned upon and free thought is clandestinely shared through books and literature for fear of oppression coming from people in power.

The Summary Plot

Guy Montag works as a fireman whose job is to start a fire and burn down books as a part of his profession. He enjoys taking part in this plight which commonly involves lighting up illegally owned books and other works of literature from the homes of its owners.

As the story progresses, Montag eventually comes to a point wherein he questions his own actions. He meets the 17-year old radical thinker by the name of Clarisse McClellan, who also happened to be his neighbor.

With Clarisse’s fundamental way of thinking, Montag also develops a keen curiosity to the ways of the society, which then prompts him to question his own profession.

As his views drastically changed, so is his affection for his wife Mildred, whom he suddenly realizes has a different outlook on the life filled with empty gossips and nonsensical addiction to narcotics. He eventually went home one night to his wife being overdosed with sleeping pills by which plumbers responded to the scene saying it is “something normal” that commonly happens to most people.

Driven by the force to prepare for an imminent war, Montag eventually questions the enlightening and powerful effect of books and its threat to the minds of people in the community. With this inner fire inspiring him to take more action, he eventually came into possession of a couple books of his own which he stole from one of the houses he burned down.

Seeking for a teacher who is driven by the same passion, Montag stumbles upon Faber, who warned him about the perils of possessing books and sharing them out into the open. Montag eventually loses his self-control when one night, he read some passages off from the Bible to his wife’s friends. This led his boss, Beatty, to come up to the scene.A row took place between the two individuals as they exchange heated words and arguments which Beatty, later on, raised a fire alarm in Montag’s own house to burn it down.

This also led to Montag turning to Beatty and torching him eventually. This has forced authorities to search and capture him for his wrong deed. Being on the run, Montag goes to Faber’s home and the two flee the scene while heading out to the woods where they meet other booklovers and intellectuals. A Mechanical Hound sent to capture Montag eventually loses scent and killed another man in his place.

A war ensued and the city was bombed but Montag and his newly-found companions remained safe.After the war is over and amidst the rumble and destruction, Montag and the others rose as the society’s free thinkers whose goal is to educate the entire community and share the enlightenment and power that can be obtained from books and literature.

Fahrenheit 451 Themes List

  • technology
  • censorship
  • conformity
  • distraction vs happiness
  • dystopian themes
  • violence
  • isolation
  • identity
  • ignorance
  • individuality

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