Fahrenheit 451- a Critical Review

4221 Words17 Pages
EN3110 - NOVEL



In Fahrenheit 451, Beatty exists as a paradoxical character which has a profound knowledge from the books he burnt but is still against the keeping of these intellectual products. Skillfully, Ray Bradbury has built up the important villain through whose arguments we can look at more aspects of the existence of books in our society, or generally the maintenance of knowledge. In the conversation between Beatty and The Montags, the fireman captain has indicated his opinions about the increasing focus on speed in the society, “redundancy” and perils of reading, “necessity” of censorship and ways to keep Man happy. These are also the thematic
…show more content…
We may notice that, Beatty has exaggerated about the time a person can save if he uses zipper instead of a button. Definitely, it cannot take as long as an hour every morning just to button up his clothes. However, we may find that the idea in his argument was also used when zippers were introduced or advertised. To some extents, we can consider this as a shrewd observation from Ray Bradbury. In fact, Beatty’s arguments convey one of the author’s concerns about the modern societies. Buttoning is the traditional way to fasten clothes while zipping is a modern way. Generally speaking, people have skipped more things than just a button. Traditions and customs have been mostly left out, and technology is usually blamed for this omission. However, from this point of view, if we do not follow Beatty’s logic, we are more likely to interpret the symbolism of zipper and button in another way. The reason why men turned their back to the traditions, things that they regards as obsolete and “slow”, is not that they become more advanced, but that men would like to choose easier ways and shortcuts to achieve their goals, whereas they may forget other more important values than speed on their way. Thus, it is the focus on speed of the society that causes the technology to advance, yet destroy the core of our civilization – the ability to think and the practice of thinking.

“The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full
Open Document