Fahrenheit 451 - Power of Books

1470 WordsNov 13, 20126 Pages
THE POWER OF BOOKS ESSAY Guy Montag’s “crime against society”, was that he understood the power of books. Fahrenheit 451 (1953), written by Ray Bradbury depicts a dystopian society which, due to the absence of books, discourages intellect and punishes free-will. As receptacles of knowledge, books give human beings a unique power, as they encourage and nurture intellect and understanding. The intellectual metamorphosis that Montag undergoes renders him aware of this fact, making him an incredibly dangerous figure in the society of Fahrenheit 451. Despite Montag’s understanding of the power of books, he only recognises his true purpose in life once all elements from his former society had been destroyed. The power of books…show more content…
Therefore, through books, Montag becomes conscious of the monotony of his previous life, and now rebels against the very foundations of his society. Due to this intellectual illumination, Montag begins to acknowledge the details of the world around him, details he had once ignored: ‘”Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass this morning.”’As enlightenment dawns on Montag, he finally begins to realise the power within books (i.e. they hold the key to power through knowledge) and this is his ‘crime’ against society: ‘There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house...’ Despite his newfound interest, Montag is still struggling to understand the concept of literature. Once again however, Montag is pushed in the right direction by Professor Faber. Under Faber’s guidance, Montag recognises that ‘There is nothing magical about [books] at all. The magic is only with what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment.’ This quote exemplifies the fact that although books are the combination of mere ink and paper, it is the beliefs and the knowledge within a book that are so incredibly powerful. In a conformist society however, Montag still has no outlet for his intellect, and thus finds himself without a purpose: ‘I am lost without it.’ This quote
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