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Fahrenheit 451

Ray bradbury.

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Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t provide a single, clear explanation of why books are banned in the future. Instead, it suggests that many different factors could combine to create this result. These factors can be broken into two groups: factors that lead to a general lack of interest in reading and factors that make people actively hostile toward books. The novel doesn’t clearly distinguish these two developments. Apparently, they simply support one another.

The first group of factors includes the popularity of competing forms of entertainment such as television and radio. More broadly, Bradbury thinks that the presence of fast cars, loud music, and advertisements creates a lifestyle with too much stimulation in which no one has the time to concentrate. Also, the huge mass of published material is too overwhelming to think about, leading to a society that reads condensed books (which were very popular at the time Bradbury was writing) rather than the real thing.

The second group of factors, those that make people hostile toward books, involves envy. People don’t like to feel inferior to those who have read more than they have.

But the novel implies that the most important factor leading to censorship is the objections of special-interest groups and “minorities” to things in books that offend them. Bradbury is careful to refrain from referring specifically to racial minorities—Beatty mentions dog lovers and cat lovers, for instance. The reader can only try to infer which special-interest groups he really has in mind. As the Afterword to Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates, Bradbury is extremely sensitive to any attempts to restrict his free speech; for instance, he objects strongly to letters he has received suggesting that he revise his treatment of female or black characters. He sees such interventions as essentially hostile and intolerant—as the first step on the road to book burning.

Read more about using censorship as a form of control going all the way back to Shakespeare’s time.

Knowledge versus Ignorance

Montag, Faber, and Beatty’s struggle revolves around the tension between knowledge and ignorance. The fireman’s duty is to destroy knowledge and promote ignorance in order to equalize the population and promote sameness. Montag’s encounters with Clarisse, the old woman, and Faber ignite in him the spark of doubt about this approach. His resultant search for knowledge destroys the unquestioning ignorance he used to share with nearly everyone else, and he battles the basic beliefs of his society.

Technological innovation represents the central source of society’s problems in Fahrenheit 451 . Throughout the book, Bradbury treats technology as inherently anesthetizing and destructive. In the prehistory of the novel, technology played an important role in the social decline of reading. As technology improved, it gave rise to new forms of media, like television and in-ear radios. The televisions in Bradbury’s future are the size of whole walls, and when installed to form three-dimensional entertainment spaces called “parlors,” they have a mesmerizing, immersive effect. Despite being more immersive than books, television programs feature simplified content meant primarily to entertain. As Montag observes over the course of the novel, the television programs his wife Mildred watches are pointless and often gratuitously violent. Whenever Mildred isn’t watching television, she’s listening to a constant stream of music and advertisements that play through her in-ear radio. Mildred remains “plugged in” at all times, and Montag ascribes her emotional vacancy and lack of empathy to her addiction to these forms of technology. By extension, the shallowness and heartlessness of Montag’s society as a whole derives from its collective addiction to entertainment.

In contrast to the anesthetizing effect of new media technologies, other forms of technology in Bradbury’s future have a more materially destructive force. For instance, the automobiles—or “beetles”—that appear everywhere in the city can easily reach top speeds of more than one hundred miles per hour. As such, they encourage fast, reckless driving and result in many fatal accidents. Mildred frequently lets off steam by driving fast, which particularly distresses Montag after he learns that a speeding beetle killed Clarisse. Another example of technology’s destructiveness appears in the Mechanical Hound, a metal contraption designed to track down and kill lawbreakers. Although the Hound must be specifically programmed with the biometrics of the person it’s meant to attack, early in the novel the Hound acts aggressively toward Montag, suggesting that Hound technology may be easy to manipulate to nefarious ends. However, the most destructive technology of all is the atomic bomb. Two nuclear wars occurred in the novel’s recent past, and the book ends with an atomic bomb falling on the city. Nuclear technology makes war both easier and more destructive, and in Fahrenheit 451 , the ever-present threat of atomic war maintains an atmosphere of anxiety.


In Fahrenheit 451 , the theme of dissatisfaction has close connections to the themes of technology and censorship. The dystopian society Bradbury represents in the novel arose in its present form because of technological innovation. Technological innovation led to the ascendency of television, which in turn led to the devaluing and, eventually, the censoring of books. As Captain Beatty explains to Montag, the social history that led to the present state of affairs had everything to do with ensuring people’s peace of mind by keeping them entertained. As long as everyone remains entertained, they’ll be happy.

However, Montag realizes early in the novel that constant entertainment has bred deep dissatisfaction. For instance, Mildred can’t live without entertainment. She’s always watching television in her “parlor” or listening to her in-ear radio. The only reason she steps away from these entertainments is to seek cathartic release while driving around in her beetle at top speeds. Mildred insists that she’s happy, yet her near-suicide at the beginning of the novel suggests otherwise. Dissatisfaction rages just beneath the surface, even for those who don’t consciously realize it.

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Fahrenheit 451

Ray bradbury, everything you need for every book you read..

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Much of Fahrenheit 451 is devoted to depicting a future United States society bombarded with messages and imagery by an omnipresent mass media. Instead of the small black-and-white TV screens common in American households in 1953 (the year of the book's publication), the characters in the novel live their lives in rooms with entire walls that act as televisions. These TVs show serial dramas in which the viewer's name is woven into the program and…

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Books are banned in the society depicted in Fahrenheit 451 . When they're found, they're burned, along with the homes of the books' owners. But it's important to remember that in the world of this novel, the suppression of books began as self-censorship . As Beatty explains to Montag , people didn't stop reading books because a tyrannical government forced them to stop. They stopped reading books gradually over time as the culture around them…

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Conformity vs. Individuality

Pleasure-seeking and distraction are the hallmarks of the culture in which Montag lives. Although these may sound like a very self-serving set of values, the culture is not one that celebrates or even tolerates a broad range of self-expression. Hedonism and mindless entertainment are the norm, and so long as the people in the society of Fahrenheit 451 stick to movies and sports and racing their cars, pursuits that require little individual thought, they're left…

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Distraction vs. Happiness

Why has the society of Fahrenheit 451 become so shallow, indifferent, and conforming? Why do people drive so fast, keep Seashell ear thimbles in their ears, and spend all day in front of room-sized, four-walled TV programs? According to Beatty , the constant motion and titillation is designed to help people suppress their sadness and avoid any kind of intense emotion or difficult thoughts and experiences. The people of Fahrenheit 451 have to come to…

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Action vs. Inaction

In the years up to and before World War II, many societies, including Germany, become dangerous and intolerant. Even so, their citizens were afraid to speak out against these changes. Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953, just a few years after WWII ended, and is very concerned with the idea of taking action versus standing by while society falters. In particular, the novel shows how Montag learns to take action, in contrast to Faber who…

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Throughout Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury develops multiple themes through the main character, Guy Montag. As Montag develops into his own person as the book progresses, he helps add emphasis to several themes including censorship and alienation, real vs fake and life vs death, religious values, technological advancements, and paradoxes. The futuristic society that Bradbury develops shows that people are afraid of criticism, do not think for their own, fail to see what is true and what is fake, depend more on technology than themselves, and fear knowledge in general. He also implies that without any feedback or criticism, progress of society would be nearly impossible. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury attempts to communicate the message that society can never get rid of books, thoughts and discussion, and criticism or society will become a spoon fed population that only depends on technology and the fact that everyone thinks exactly the same.

A fellow firefighter of Montag says, We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; men are all happy (55). In hindsight, since there is no diversity, everyone is basically braindead, and they are not able to actually express their interests and who they are because it is against the status quo. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca to cater for everyone (55). All the media that citizens have access to is the same. There are no diversity among news channels, like modern society. The government of this society does not allow or want citizens to develop their own opinions because they do not want anyone to get hurt. A lot of the idea in the book that show a censored society and show how people are alienated actually reflect the ideas of people like Hitler, or the Chinese that operate with a totalitarian regime. A totalitarian regime is where the people get no say in anything and the government tries to control every aspect of society. Also, in America during the early 1900s through the era of the red scare, there was a crackdown on communism. Originally initiated and advocated by the U.S. Senator, Joseph McCarthy, this hunt for communists included locating and persecuting anyone who was thought to be associated with communist ideals (De Clercq, Probert, Bradbury 2015). The Fahrenheit 451 society directly reflects this era in United States history. People who do not want to conform to the social norms, or just do not fit in, once again like Clarisse, were persecuted for having different interests from everyone else. In Mass Degradation of Humanity and Massive Contradictions in Bradbury’s Vision of America in Fahrenheit 451, Jack Zipes discusses the premises that Bradbury bases Fahrenheit 451 off of:

The McCarthy witch hunts, the Cold War, The Korean War, and the rapid rise of television as a determinant in the culture industry, the spread of advertisement, and the abuse of technology within the military-industrial complex, the frustration and violence of the younger generation, the degradation of the masses- these are the factors that went into making Fahrenheit 451 (Zipes 4).

Zipes mentions how the book is often viewed at by describing issues that occur in the world as a whole, however when it is given a closer examination, it actually targets the problems in America in the 1950s, keeping in mind that the book was published in 1953.

Due to the fact that everyone that is living in this society is just breathing potatoes with no opinions or personalities, they are no able to distinguish what is real and what is not. For example, Montag’s wife attempts to kill herself. He comes home to find his wife in bed and then he stumbles over an empty pill bottle in the darkness of their bedroom. Immediately, Montag calls for help. As he sits and watches as his wife receive medical attention, he is informed by the paramedics that suicide revival is a very common task that they have to perform. The paramedics tell him that they get call after call each night with reports of attempted suicide. This shows that the people approach life with no distinctive boundaries between life and death. People are approaching life with this blurred boundary because of their dependence on technology. The problem with this is that you can only depend on technology for so many things. For example, if the Fahrenheit 451 society was to have a major power outage or for some reason all their technology stopped functioning, people would literally be helpless. Bradbury was trying to highlight this flawed aspect of their society to show people that technology is not always a good thing,and could actually cause people to be helpless and uneducated in drastic situations.

Another theme presented throughout the book is religious values. Although this theme may not be obvious at first glance, it is incorporated a little bit. There are multiple Biblical allusions that make themselves known throughout the course of the story. The book describes one time where Montag and his fire crew have to respond to call of an old woman who had a stash of books hidden in her house. The old woman seems to be stubborn and fixated on the idea that books are magical and when you read, books can make you feel as if you are living in the story. In the end, the old woman refuses to leave her books and burns with them. Through the midst of all that chaos, Montag saves on book. The book that he saves is The Bible. As the book progresses, Montag becomes interested with this book and says that he he will reprint the book in a new society, implying that more people can have access to The Bible and so they can see the Word of God. This new society parallels with what the Bible actually says about the need for the renewal of the world. In the New Testament of the Bible, it prophesies that when the Second Coming of Jesus occurs, anything in the world that needs replaced in God’s image, will end up being replaced. The final book of the Bible, Revelation, tells about how the Second Coming of Christ will happen, but first there is going to be struggle that has to take place. That struggle, in Fahrenheit 451, is the corruption of society. Another parallel that can be made between the Bible and Fahrenheit 451 is Montag and the group of men he found after floating down the river and the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Sisario 1970, p. 205). The Twelve Tribes of Israel descend from the early biblical figure Abraham. Abraham’s grandson, Jacob (who later became known as Israel) had twelve sons, each of which became the head of their own tribe. The tribes dispersed themselves throughout various locations in the Land of Canaan, on both sides of the Jordan River. As time passed, a monarchy that was established caused the splitting of the state, which made it seems as if all the tribes had diminished. However, the prophet Ezekiel proclaimed that land would not be divided anymore and that the tribes would take back their original land. (Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? 2000). (Sisario 1970, p. 205) compares the two concepts by saying:

The lines Bradbury has Guy recall not only reinforce the idea of a cyclical world, but also give us a key to Bradbury’s hope that the ‘healing of nations’ can best come about through a rebirth of man’s intellect. We must use our minds to halt the endless cycles of destruction by warfare to rebirth to a world of uneasy peace and intellectual death. The Twelve Tribes of Israel wandering in the desert seeking a new nation can be recalled here as Montag, Granger, and the others wander away from the city with hope that their new world will soon be established.

Within the group on men, each of them acts as a different book. Each man memorizes passages from different literature so that they can just reference each other instead of risk getting caught with books. One of the verses that Montag recalls from his book, The Bible, is from the Revelation. It says, It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations (The Bible, NLT). The fact that this verse mentions on each side of the river ties the comparison together perfectly, considering that, as I mentioned earlier, the Twelve Tribes Of Israel settled on each side of the Jordan River. Just as the Twelve Tribes of Israel are wandering, waiting, and looking for peace to be restored to their land, so are Montag and his group of men who are waiting for peace to be restored regarding societal corruption, especially with literature. Montag desires for his society to be renewed so it is rid of almost all the things it currently stands for, such as the obsession with technology and the fact that no one can think for themself, especially with books. If Montag could create his own society or alter his current one, the first thing that he would do is provided access to all different types of books and get rid of the corruption that is enforced regarding literature or other arts and nature.

Montag also begins to relate his real life and personal situations to different stories and parables in The Bible. The last Biblical comparison regarding Montag has to do the apostle Paul. Paul’s story begins as he is taking a long trip to the city of Damascus, where he is a non believer in God. As he is traveling, he is blinded by a bright light from God. Once he comes to the realization that God is calling him, he changes his name to Saul (by the orders of God) and begins to preach the Word and tell everyone along his travels about the Lord. This is significant to Fahrenheit 451 because both Paul and Montag make a conversion from non believers to believers. Montag is also blinded by society in the beginning of book. He transforms from going with the flow of society to realizing that how he was living was no correct and recognizes that something needs to be done and changes need to be made. Both figures, Paul and Montag, also go on to spread the Word. Montag often tells his friends of the parables that he reads about in the Bible and Paul preaches to the people. So, in a way both of them are communicators of the Word of God. Another association between Paul and Montag can be found in Scripture when Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:17-18: This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus. They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith (The Bible, NLT). In this verse, Paul recognizes that these two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus, are false prophecies and try to turn people away from faith, the same way that society tries to get people to think one way and Montag realizes it (Kopanksi 2011).

Another pretty prominent theme that ties into other themes in the book is technological advancements. People in this society pretty obviously rely on technology more than their own brain power. Some examples of technology that people rely on most commonly in this society are basic things such as TV. The people get all their sources and information from the same media. Another example of technology that many people rely on is the machine that saved Montag’s wife when she tried to kill herself. As I mentioned earlier, the paramedics explained to Montag that they get suicide attempt calls very often and they have become almost a routine, common thing to have happen. This implies that people make stupid decisions everyday because they always have the mentality that it will be okay, and technology, like the paramedics used to revive Montag’s wife, will help them escape any sticky situation that they could possibly get themselves in. But what if the technology that they rely so religiously on stops working? How would the husband of a wife who just tried to take her own life react if he was told that there was no way of saving her because the technology was down or damaged in some type of way? If this ever happened to this society, no one would no what to do.

Technology is nice because it makes things easier, but it should not end up at the point where people are trusting their lives to it. Bradbury highlights this to show people that technology should not be something that people put 100% of their faith into. When it comes to the science fiction genre, usually a society or a certain aspect of society can be described in a dystopian manner or a utopian manner. Dystopian society is associated with concepts that represent a negative connotation. This can include an aspect that leads to more deterioration within a society, rather than the building up of a society. A utopian society is associated with positive advancements that help civilization live in the most fruitful way possible. In Fahrenheit 451, technology is described as a dystopian concept. Three main characteristics of a dystopian society that are present in Fahrenheit 451 include a background story that causes a new definitive structural system to be locked in place (the criticisms of literature that caused books to be burnt so feelings we no longer hurt), many new advances in technology, and less individuality. So in this way, the Fahrenheit 451 society is very comparable to Nazi Germany (Mahida 2). More than anything else, thus, Nazism from the outset embodied a new ideal group, a community of human beings who are physically and mentally alike this entity was to be judged solely by the degree of goodness of its institutions for its own people’ (Claeys 178). In Nazi Germany, the goal was for all people to think the same, just like it was in the Fahrenheit 451 society.

All these themes add up to the importance that Bradbury was trying to emphasize about the need for diversity in society. He portrayed that like minds lead to less progress as a nation. He also showed how technology can be a good thing, but it is something that you have to be on watch for. He shows that getting consumed too much in media can be dangerous and in the end proves the point that disputes and criticism can actually be a vital part of individuality and compromise.

Works Cited

Clercq, Anne-Sophie de, et al. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Book Analysis) : Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide., 2015. Book Analysis. EBSCOhost,

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Fahrenheit 451 Summary, Analysis, and Essay Example

fahrenheit 451 theme essay

Ray Bradbury’s classic 1953 book Fahrenheit 451 is one of the most renowned novels of the 20th century. It stands alongside such classics as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984. This Fahrenheit 451 analysis takes a look at its author, characters, themes, quotes, and movie adaptation.

Ray Bradbury Bio

Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. His parents, Esther Bradbury and Leonard Spaulding Bradbury gave Ray his middle name in honor of the actor Douglas Fairbanks. Ray’s aunt would often read to him during his childhood. This influence can be seen in his works, where he highlights major themes of censorship, the importance of books, and accepting the history that can no longer be changed.

Ray Bradbury has loved reading since he was a young man. He often visited the library and read the works of Jules Verne, Edgar Alan Poe, and H. G. Wells. Ray published his first story titled Hollerbochen’s Dilemma when he was only 18 years old. While not popular with readers, it showcased the young writer’s potential.

Bradbury continued to hone his skills, and they paid off nearly two decades later. Some of the greatest Ray Bradbury books include Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, and The Illustrated Man. His first collection of short sci-fi stories dubbed The Martian Chronicles was released in 1950. To this day, Fahrenheit 451 remains one of his most well-known works.

In the mid-1980s, he was a host and writer for The Ray Bradbury Theater. This was an anthology series that ran on HBO and the First Choice Superchannel in Canada. Bradbury personally wrote for all 65 episodes. They were based on his own short stories and novels.

fahrenheit 451 theme essay

Fahrenheit 451: Analysis

Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 continues to fascinate readers with its timeless themes of freedom, censorship, dystopian society, and wilful ignorance years after its release. Bradbury paints a portrait of a hedonistic society that doesn’t care about its lifestyle and doesn’t want change. 

Fahrenheit 451 analysis closely centers around the main character torn between his professional loyalties and growing discontent with the status quo. It’s a timeless classic that shows how arrogance always leads to downfall.

What Is the Main Idea of Fahrenheit 451?

Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was strongly influenced by the McCarthy trials. The book is a condemnation of censorship and the persecution of people. It’s a tale of a man’s desire for individuality in a strongly conformist and ignorant society. The story sets in the future, where the American public has become an empty shell.

In this timeline, firemen start fires instead of putting them out. Fahrenheit 451 follows one of the operatives named Guy Montag. He goes on a personal journey from enjoying the book burnings to doubting his actions and wanting nothing to do with them. The majority of his peers have become disconnected from reality.

They are constantly bombarded by sounds and sights produced by the media. This is so persistent that people have no time to think and process what is being transmitted. Montag realizes that he has to desperately try to save what knowledge remains in unburned books. The story is a chilling tale with a dash of hope for the future.

Themes in Fahrenheit 451

Let’s begin our Fahrenheit 451 analysis with the themes. 

This all comes crashing down in the book’s climax. The only reason for the main character’s survival is his voluntary self-exile. Even without the happy ending, Bradbury gives hope that society may still be rebuilt.

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What Are 3 Conflicts in Fahrenheit 451?

There are several major conflicts In the Fahrenheit 451 book.  

What Is the Main Problem in Fahrenheit 451?

The main conflict of Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 stems from the fact that society has become completely dependent on mass media. As a result, it’s no longer interested in the world’s problems. Free thought is forbidden, and literature is destroyed on-site. The overindulgence in technology distracts the population from an impending threat. Guy Montag finds himself to be one of the few people to escape its destructive nature.

There are several Fahrenheit 451 characters essential to the story. 

Book 451 Farenheit

What Are the Symbols in Fahrenheit 451?

There are several symbols that appear heavily throughout the story. The first is fire . It’s the most evident symbol in the Fahrenheit 451 book. The book’s title refers to the temperature at which the book paper catches fire. Fire is heavily used to describe knowledge, rebirth, and destruction. The element is mostly used as a force of devastation throughout the novel.

Another prominent symbol is that of the salamander . This animal is used as a symbol for firemen in Fahrenheit 451. It’s displayed on their patches and on the fire hoses used to spew fire. Firetrucks are called the Salamander in the novel. The phoenix is displayed on the firemen’s uniforms and symbolizes the cycle of death and rebirth.

Ray Bradbury also uses seashell radio prominently in the story. This is a small radio device that symbolizes the control the media and government have over society. Almost everybody wears them to get a constant flow of information into their mind. Guy’s wife Mildred seems to be listening to seashell radio all the time.

Mirrors are another important part of the novel. They are used to represent seeing your true self and self-awareness. Montag describes Clarisse’s face as being like a mirror. This indicates that Montag notices a part of himself in her.

Motifs in Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 analysis reveals several motifs in the novel. Religion appears a lot in Fahrenheit 451. The first book Montag saves from burning ends up being a copy of the Bible. He later discusses the lack of religion and its significance with professor Faber. Guy desperately seeks someone who can explain the content of the book as he feels unable to understand it.

Paradoxes are another important part of Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury has several paradoxical statements in the novel. Primarily they consider the Mechanical Hound and Mildred. For example, Guy believes the room with his wife to be empty at the beginning of the story. This emptiness stems from her being mentally lost in the sea of information.

Ray Bradbury uses nature as a counterpart to technology . It’s used to represent the change in norms the protagonist became used to. Nature also highlights the destructive tendencies of society. For example, modern society made animals symbols of death and darkness. During his conversations with Clarisse, they often referred to nature. Montag even thinks of her to be a part of nature when he first meets her.

Fahrenheit 451 Essay Example

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Why Was Fahrenheit 451 Banned?

So, why was Fahrenheit 451 banned several times? It is the only one of Ray Bradbury's books that suffered that much. This was motivated by a desire to censor its graphic content. Ironically, a story about censorship and government overreach has itself been a subject of these things.

Fahrenheit 451 Summary

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 book is set in a dystopian future that weaponizes book burning to keep people barred from any knowledge. The novel follows one of the professional book incinerators named Guy Montag. In the beginning, he seems content with his work. But his attitude toward happiness and work soon starts to change.

First, he starts to have daily conversations with his neighbor Clarisse McClellan. She asks him many serious questions instead of spewing pleasantries. The second is when Montag steals his first book from an old woman's house during one of the raids. His firemen force was ordered to destroy the house of an old book hoarder. Instead of leaving the building, the old woman refuses to live in this society, and she sets herself on fire.

Ather these events, Montag questions his beliefs and himself more and more. Montag decides to steal and save more books from incineration. Montag makes an effort and tries to introduce his wife to reading, but she sees no point in it. Montag later contacts a retired literature professor Faber to learn more about books.

He’s first terrified of Montag but agrees to help after Guy starts ripping a book apart. Montag is given a phone device to offer him guidance. Montag’s attempt at reading a book during one of his wife’s TV-watching parties proves disastrous. He’s soon reported to the firemen by Mildred and is ordered to burn his own house down.

Guy does as told, but captain Beatty finds the earpiece and threatens to kill Fabian. This situation forces Montag to kill the chief. He then goes fleeing from the city while being chased by terrifying mechanical killer dogs. Montag escapes and joins a community of former intellectuals. They are aware of the coming war and plan to hide until it ends.

Fahrenheit 451 book ends with the total destruction of the city. But the community’s leader Granger believes it to be a good opportunity to rebuild society all over again. Much like the phoenix rising from its ashes after death, humanity can learn from its mistakes and rebuild anew.

Fahrenheit 451 Movie

Fahrenheit 451: Movie

In 2018, the novel got its second movie adaptation. It takes place after a second civil war. Much like in the original, in the 2018 Fahrenheit 451 movie, society is kept obedient by drugs and TV news. Everything is being controlled by the government. Television sets are placed in every home and street to keep the population under control. Montag and Captain Beatty are other firemen in Cleveland.

Their job is to hunt down book-collecting rebels. So, Montag burns any books he finds to erase the memory of such individuals. Captain Beatty seems to play both sides. Sometimes he’s helpful or harmful to Montag’s pursuit of knowledge. In the Fahrenheit 451 movie, the central government discovers that rebels want to record every book in existence into DNA.

This DNA will later spread around the world, thus ensuring that books never disappear. But, first, they have to get the DNA to Canada, where there’s no practice of book burning. In this adaptation, Montag’s neighbor Clarisse brings him to a revel hideout. He’s tasked with finding a suitable tracking device for a bird implanted with the DNA.

Montag’s plan is to use a tracking device utilized by the firemen. He succeeds but at the cost of his own life. This is a direct opposite of Montag’s and Beatty’s confrontation in the novel. In the Fahrenheit 451 movie, Guy sacrifices himself for the sake of knowledge.

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There are many Fahrenheit 451 quotes that are essential to the story. They help deliver Bradbury’s message about the dangers of passive entertainment. Yet, several Fahrenheit 451 quotes describe some of the novel’s most important arguments and ideas.

This opening sentence tells everything about Montag’s early disposition at the beginning of the story and how Montag feels. It also explains the main motive of the book. Humans prefer to cut corners and find an easy solution instead of investing in anything worth the effort.

This line from firemen, that Beatty tells Montag perfectly summarizes his character. Why bother with anything complex if it can be destroyed and life kept simple? Bradbury uses this line to describe a slippery slope created by accepting an intolerance for ideas.

The novel has a lot of other quotes that you can use as an inspiration for your papers. For example, if you need to write a dissertation, you can view dissertation topics and use one of them. Also, in our blog you can see examples of coursework .

Struggling With Your Literary Analysis Essay of Fahrenheit 451?

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4 Important Fahrenheit 451 Themes That Are Worth Analyzing

Imagine a world where there are no books to read. If you’re a student, sometimes that might feel like a dream come true.

Now imagine a world with nothing to read. That includes no internet (and certainly no social media). That dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.

In Fahrenheit 451, a ban on books is in place (and not just a public school ban on seemingly objectionable literature). All books are banned. As the novel progresses, readers learn that not everyone is happy about the lack of information and intellectual stimulation.

If you’re trying to stimulate your intellect and write an “A” paper, today is your lucky day. This post includes four important  Fahrenheit 451  themes to help you write a successful essay.

(Need to analyze a Fahrenheit 451 character? Read  Everything You Need to Know About 4 Fahrenheit 451 Characters .)

Before you continue reading this post, pause to reflect on  the meaning of theme . Remember, a theme is the underlying meaning of a text. It’s not simply what the story is about.

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For instance, The Scarlet Letter is about Christians, but that’s not necessarily a theme. Themes in  The Scarlet Letter include sin and hypocrisy, and they illustrate the underlying meaning of the work.

Fahrenheit 451 is about people burning books and citizens who aren’t able to—and often don’t want to—read, but these aren’t themes of the novel.

If you’re struggling to come up with  Fahrenheit 451  themes to write about in your essay, keep reading.

fahrenheit 451 themes

1. Dissatisfaction

This is one of those cases where appearances are deceiving.

At times, everyone seems to be happy because no one has to think about anything. People can just sit around and watch TV all day.

Once you dig a little deeper, though, you soon realize that most people aren’t happy. They just don’t want to admit that they’re dissatisfied with their existence.

If you’re thinking you may have read something like this before, consider the short story Harrison Bergeron . It also focuses on a dystopian future where people spend time watching TV and not thinking about much of anything, yet they’re vaguely aware of being unhappy.

Considering the similarities between the two stories and their themes, this could be a great opportunity to write a compare and contrast essay about science fiction literature that takes place in a dystopian future.

Or you might focus more specifically on the theme of dissatisfaction in “Harrison Bergeron” and Fahrenheit 451. 

Take a look at this example to read an essay that compares “Harrison Bergeron” and Fahrenheit 451 .

You might also consider analyzing Fahrenheit 451 as part of the science fiction genre.

Many science fiction tales tell the story of a future society in which people are unhappy because they let government change civilization. Consider how these futuristic stories are all warnings to the people of today.

Check out Three Lessons for the Readers in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury to see one writer’s interpretation of lessons and warnings in Fahrenheit 451 .

2. Technology

The theme of technology is one that almost anyone today can relate to.

In Bradbury’s novel, television reigns supreme. People no longer get information from books. Instead, they watch TV all day and let information be delivered to them. They don’t have to think, wonder, or learn anything new. They don’t even have to speak to each other.

It’s not too much of a leap to apply this scenario to life today.

People may not watch as much television as they used to, but they make up for it by watching plenty of cat videos on YouTube. People hold conversations on Facebook and text rather than speak to each other in person or on the phone.

People can even become addicted to technology and lose touch with the world outside of their screens. When writing about the theme of technology, you could easily argue that some aspects of this novel have already come true.

Thinking about writing an argumentative essay but not sure what the finished product might look like? Read 2 Argumentative Essay Examples With a Fighting Chance .

Want to learn more about the dangers of technology and how they’re portrayed in Fahrenheit 451 ? Read this example essay .

3. Literature

fahrenheit 451 themes

If you’ve ever taken a literature class (and I imagine you have since you’re writing about a novel), you’ve probably been part of (or at least listened to) a lively debate about the subjects you’re studying.

This intellectual debate is exactly what no longer exists in the world of Fahrenheit 451 .

While there are a few characters in the novel who believe that books and the information they contain are valuable, many disagree.

This type of “debate” among characters is the debate those in power wish to eliminate by burning books (and houses), but it’s clear that simply burning books won’t extinguish the quest for knowledge.

Should you decide to write about the theme of literature in actual literature, this topic makes for a perfect literary analysis .

Remember, when you’re writing a literary analysis about theme, it doesn’t mean that you have to write only about theme. Pull out those literary terms to discuss how elements such as characters, plot, and setting play a part in developing theme.

Take, for instance, Guy Montag. He is battling a rage fire within himself as he’s unhappy about his existence and is hiding books. Yet he works as a fireman who fights against books and knowledge.

His character and his battles (with others and within himself) help develop the theme of literature.

Need more help with writing a literary analysis? Read How to Write a Literary Analysis That Works and 15 Literary Terms You Need to Know to Write Better Essays .

The theme of wisdom is prevalent throughout the novel. The city is without books, but characters still try to seek knowledge. Montag seeks wisdom not only from books but also from others (such as the professor).

This search for wisdom also illustrates the debate regarding the value of books as teaching tools as wisdom can be passed down from person to person, not just through reading a book.

As a student, you’ve spent plenty of time reading books and listening to teachers.

If you’re trying to connect the  Fahrenheit 451  theme of wisdom to your own life, you might write an opinion essay to discuss your own beliefs as to whether wisdom is obtained primarily through books or is primarily passed down from others.

Not sure how to incorporate literature into a personal or opinion essay? Check out The Importance of Literacy in Life to see how one writer tackled the topic.

Knowledge Is Power

fahrenheit 451 themes

Whether you’re learning from others—such as your teachers, parents, or friends—or you’re learning from reading information in textbooks, news websites, or engaging blogs (like this one), the important thing is that you’re not taking reading (and learning) for granted.

After all, even if you complain a heck of a lot about reading too many books for your classes, you wouldn’t really want textbooks to be banned, would you?

Eager to learn even more? If you’d like to learn more about your own writing (and how to improve it), let a Kibin editor help you with the finer points of revision.

fahrenheit 451 theme essay

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fahrenheit 451 theme essay

About the Author

Susan M. Inez is a professor of English and writing goddess based out of the Northeast. In addition to a BA in English Education, an MA in Composition, and an MS in Education, Susan has 20 years of experience teaching courses on composition, writing in the professions, literature, and more. She also served as co-director of a campus writing center for 2 years.


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  1. Fahrenheit 451: Themes

    In Fahrenheit 451, the theme of dissatisfaction has close connections to the themes of technology and censorship. The dystopian society Bradbury represents in the novel arose in its present form because of technological innovation. Technological innovation led to the ascendency of television, which in turn led to the devaluing and, eventually ...

  2. Fahrenheit 451 Themes

    Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1953, just a few years after WWII ended, and is very concerned with the idea of taking action versus standing by while society falters. In particular, the novel shows how Montag learns to take action, in contrast to Faber who…. read analysis of Action vs. Inaction. Previous. Part 3.

  3. What is The Theme of Fahrenheit 451?

    In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury attempts to communicate the message that society can never get rid of books, thoughts and discussion, and criticism or society will become a spoon fed population that only depends on technology and the fact that everyone thinks exactly the same.

  4. Fahrenheit 451 Summary, Analysis, and Essay Example

    Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 continues to fascinate readers with its timeless themes of freedom, censorship, dystopian society, and wilful ignorance years after its release. Bradbury paints a portrait of a hedonistic society that doesn’t care about its lifestyle and doesn’t want change.