Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

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Among the science fiction genre, Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” is an ever-flickering flame that refuses to be doused. With haunting artistry, Bradbury paints a desolate world of alienated, mechanized human beings who are more connected to their television screen “families” than they are to the spouses with whom they share a pillow at night. As the protagonist, Guy Montag, so evocatively states, “There are billions of us and that’s too many. Nobody knows anyone.”

The advancement of technology, “Fahrenheit 451” suggests, has paradoxically spurred the deterioration of communication. Bradbury poignantly exposes this dismal fact in one of the novel’s first scenes, when Montag first befriends Clarisse McClellan, the seventeen-year-old dreamer in a world of automatons. While Clarisse romanticizes about archaic front porches built for the sole purpose of socialization and confesses that her own family regularly trades in sleep for conversation, Montag interjects, “What do you talk about?”

Throughout the novel, Clarisse is the rare seedling of hope in Montag’s barren world. As the amity between the two characters strengthens and Clarisse revels in catching a glimpse of the man on the moon and tilting her head back to taste the rain, Montag is finally jolted awake. At last, he begins to look — really look — at the world around him. And the result is astonishing: for the first time in his life, he truly feels something. As his perception finally clears and he absorbs his
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