Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

4.1 468
by Ray Bradbury, Scott Brick

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Internationally acclaimed with more than 5 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago.

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning .

…  See more details below


Internationally acclaimed with more than 5 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago.

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.

Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Fahrenheit 451 is set in a grim alternate-future setting ruled by a tyrannical government in which firemen as we understand them no longer exist: Here, firemen don't douse fires, they ignite them. And they do this specifically in homes that house the most evil of evils: books.

Books are illegal in Bradbury's world, but books are not what his fictional -- yet extremely plausible -- government fears: They fear the knowledge one pulls from books. Through the government's incessant preaching, the inhabitants of this place have come to loathe books and fear those who keep and attempt to read them. They see such people as eccentric, dangerous, and threatening to the tranquility of their state.

But one day a fireman named Montag meets a young girl who demonstrates to him the beauty of books, of knowledge, of conceiving and sharing ideas; she wakes him up, changing his life forever. When Montag's previously held ideology comes crashing down around him, he is forced to reconsider the meaning of his existence and the part he plays. After Montag discovers that "all isn't well with the world," he sets out to make things right.

A brilliant and frightening novel, Fahrenheit 451 is the classic narrative about censorship; utterly chilling in its implications, Ray Bradbury's masterwork captivates thousands of new readers each year. (Andrew LeCount)

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Read an Excerpt

It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.

Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame.

He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered.

He hung up his black beetle-colored helmet and shined it; he hung his flameproof jacket neatly; he showered luxuriously, and then, whistling, hands in pockets, walked across the upper floor of the fire station and fell down the hole. At the last moment, when disaster seemed positive, he pulled his hands from his pockets and broke his fall by graspingthe golden pole. He slid to a squeaking halt, the heels one inch from the concrete floor downstairs.

He walked out of the fire station and along the midnight street toward the subway where the silent air-propelled train slid soundlessly down its lubricated flue in the earth and let him out with a great puff of warm air onto the cream-tiled escalator rising to the suburb.

Whistling, he let the escalator waft him into the still night air. He walked toward the corner, thinking little at all about nothing in particular. Before he reached the corner, however, he slowed as if a wind had sprung up from nowhere, as if someone had called his name.

The last few nights he had had the most uncertain feelings about the sidewalk just around the corner here, moving in the starlight toward his house. He had felt that a moment prior to his making the turn, someone had been there. The air seemed charged with a special calm as if someone had waited there, quietly, and only a moment before he came, simply turned to a shadow and let him through. Perhaps his nose detected a faint perfume, perhaps the skin on the backs of his hands, on his face, felt the temperature rise at this one spot where a person’s standing might raise the immediate atmosphere ten degrees for an instant. There was no understanding it. Each time he made the turn, he saw only the white, unused, buckling sidewalk, with perhaps, on one night, something vanishing swiftly across a lawn before he could focus his eyes or speak.

But now tonight, he slowed almost to a stop. His inner mind, reaching out to turn the corner for him, had heard the faintest whisper. Breathing? Or was the atmosphere compressed merely by someone standing very quietly there, waiting?

He turned the corner.

The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. Her head was half bent to watch her shoes stir the circling leaves. Her face was slender and milk-white, and in it was a kind of gentle hunger that touched over everything with tireless curiosity. It was a look, almost, of pale surprise; the dark eyes were so fixed to the world that no move escaped them. Her dress was white and it whispered. He almost thought he heard the motion of her hands as she walked, and the infinitely small sound now, the white stir of her face turning when she discovered she was a moment away from a man who stood in the middle of the pavement waiting.

The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain. The girl stopped and looked as if she might pull back in surprise, but instead stood regarding Montag with eyes so dark and shining and alive that he felt he had said something quite wonderful. But he knew his mouth had only moved to say hello, and then when she seemed hypnotized by the salamander on his arm and the phoenix disc on his chest, he spoke again.

“Of course,” he said, “you’re our new neighbor, aren’t you?”

“And you must be”—she raised her eyes from his professional symbols “—the fireman.” Her voice trailed off.

“How oddly you say that.”

“I’d—I’d have known it with my eyes shut,” she said, slowly.

“What—the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains,” he laughed. “You never wash it off completely.”

“No, you don’t,” she said, in awe.

He felt she was walking in a circle about him, turning him end for end, shaking him quietly, and emptying his pockets, without once moving herself.

“Kerosene,” he said, because the silence had lengthened, “is nothing but perfume to me.”

“Does it seem like that, really?”

“Of course. Why not?”

She gave herself time to think of it. “I don’t know.” She turned to face the sidewalk going toward their homes. “Do you mind if I walk back with you? I’m Clarisse McClellan.”

“Clarisse. Guy Montag. Come along. What are you doing out so late wandering around? How old are you?”

They walked in the warm-cool blowing night on the silvered pavement and there was the faintest breath of fresh apricots and strawberries in the air, and he looked around and realized this was quite impossible, so late in the year.

There was only the girl walking with him now, her face bright as snow in the moonlight, and he knew she was working his questions around, seeking the best answers she could possibly give.

“Well,” she said, “I’m seventeen and I’m crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane. Isn’t this a nice time of night to walk? I like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise.”

They walked on again in silence and finally she said, thoughtfully, “You know, I’m not afraid of you at all.”

He was surprised. “Why should you be?”

“So many people are. Afraid of firemen, I mean. But you’re just a man, after all . . .”

He saw himself in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, himself dark and tiny, in fine detail, the lines about his mouth, everything there, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber that might capture and hold him intact. Her face, turned to him now, was fragile milk crystal with a soft and constant light in it. It was not the hysterical light of electricity but—what? But the strangely comfortable and rare and gently flattering light of the candle. One time, as a child, in a power failure, his mother had found and lit a last candle and there had been a brief hour of rediscovery, of such illumination that space lost its vast dimensions and grew comfortably around them, and they, mother and son, alone, transformed, hoping that the power might not come on again too soon . . .

And then Clarisse McClellan said:

“Do you mind if I ask? How long’ve you worked at being a fireman?”

“Since I was twenty, ten years ago.”

“Do you ever read any of the books you burn?”

He laughed. “That’s against the law!”

“Oh. Of course.”

“It’s fine work. Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ’em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That’s our official slogan.”

They walked still farther and the girl said, “Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?”

“No. Houses have always been fireproof, take my word for it.”

“Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames.”

He laughed.

She glanced quickly over. “Why are you laughing?”

“I don’t know.” He started to laugh again and stopped. “Why?”

“You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you.”

He stopped walking. “You are an odd one,” he said, looking at her. “Haven’t you any respect?”

“I don’t mean to be insulting. It’s just I love to watch people too much, I guess.”

“Well, doesn’t this mean anything to you?” He tapped the numerals 451 stitched on his char-colored sleeve.

“Yes,” she whispered. She increased her pace. “Have you ever watched the jet cars racing on the boulevards down that way?”

“You’re changing the subject!”

“I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly,” she said. “If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn’t that funny, and sad, too?”

“You think too many things,” said Montag, uneasily.

“I rarely watch the ‘parlor walls’ or go to races or Fun Parks. So I’ve lots of time for crazy thoughts, I guess. Have you seen the two hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last.”

“I didn’t know that!” Montag laughed abruptly.

“Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass in the morning.”

He suddenly couldn’t remember if he had known this or not, and it made him quite irritable.

“And if you look”—she nodded at the sky—“there’s a man in the moon.”

He hadn’t looked for a long time.

They walked the rest of the way in silence, hers thoughtful, his a kind of clenching and uncomfortable silence in which he shot her accusing glances. When they reached her house all its lights were blazing.

“What’s going on?” Montag had rarely seen that many house lights.

“Oh, just my mother and father and uncle sitting around, talking. It’s like being a pedestrian, only rarer. My uncle was arrested another time—did I tell you?—for being a pedestrian. Oh, we’re most peculiar.”

“But what do you talk about?”

She laughed at this. “Good night!” She started up her walk. Then she seemed to remember something and came back to look at him with wonder and curiosity. “Are you happy?” she said.

“Am I what?” he cried.

But she was gone—running in the moonlight. Her front door shut gently.

“Happy! Of all the nonsense.”

He stopped laughing.

He put his hand into the glove hole of his front door and let it know his touch. The front door slid open.

Of course I’m happy. What does she think? I’m not? he asked the quiet rooms. He stood looking up at the ventilator grille in the hall and suddenly remembered that something lay hidden behind the grille, something that seemed to peer down at him now. He moved his eyes quickly away.

What a strange meeting on a strange night. He remembered nothing like it save one afternoon a year ago when he had met an old man in the park and they had talked . . .

Montag shook his head. He looked at a blank wall. The girl’s face was there, really quite beautiful in memory: astonishing, in fact. She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night when you waken to see the time and see the clock telling you the hour and the minute and the second, with a white silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing what it had to tell of the night passing swiftly on toward further darknesses, but moving also toward a new sun.

“What?” asked Montag of the other self, the subconscious idiot that ran babbling at times, quite independent of will, habit, and conscience.

He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who refracted your own light to you? People were more often—he searched for a simile, found one in his work—torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people’s faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?

What incredible power of identification the girl had; she was like the eager watcher of a marionette show, anticipating each flicker of an eyelid, each gesture of his hand, each flick of a finger, the moment before it began. How long had they walked together? Three minutes? Five? Yet how large that time seemed now. How immense a figure she was on the stage before him; what a shadow she threw on the wall with her slender body! He felt that if his eye itched, she might blink. And if the muscles of his jaws stretched imperceptibly, she would yawn long before he would.

Why, he thought, now that I think of it, she almost seemed to be waiting for me there, in the street, so damned late at night . . .

He opened the bedroom door.

It was like coming into the cold marbled room of a mausoleum after the moon has set. Complete darkness, not a hint of the silver world outside, the windows tightly shut, the chamber a tomb world where no sound from the great city could penetrate. The room was not empty.

He listened.

The little mosquito-delicate dancing hum in the

Copyright 1987 by Ray Bradbury

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"Stephen Hoye's narration is perfectly matched to the subject matter: his tone is low and ominous, and his cadence shifts with the prose to ratchet up tension and suspense." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Audio Review

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Fahrenheit 451 4.1 out of 5 based on 6 ratings. 469 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Fahrenheit 451. True, it's hard to understand sometimes. I think what really made this book stand out to me was not the plot, but the motifs and symbolism. If you read this book just for plot, I will tell you that you will be confused and disappointed. The glory of this book is in how Ray Bradbury uses symbolism and motif. When I say motif, I mean like a theme. Like fire and water. Bradbury often uses fire to represent ignorance in the book, and water to represent knowledge. Or masks and mirrors. Bradbury will talk about some of the characters (usually the ones who are following the crowd, like the Montags) having "masks," while other characters (those who are different like Clarisse and Faber) are described as with mirrors. If you want to really read this book, I recommend getting one of those literature guides to read along with Fahrenheit. If you know the symbolism behind the book, you will enjoy it much more.
Nikki_in_Ponchatoula More than 1 year ago
God bless you Ray. You gave us a vision of what might happen and so much of what you said did. Traffic cameras, the death of real conversation, the creation of an electronic family and social media. You will be greatly missed.
cllhnstev More than 1 year ago
Written 50 years ago but still rings true in describing today's culture if you look at the themes metaphors,symbols and the message he's trying to tell. I think people who label it boring are just reading it literally and expecting a science fiction thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel bad for all of the people who said this book was stupid. Not to offend anyone, but if you really get it and understand what it's saying then it has a really deep message. I get how its hard to understand because there are so many metaphors but if you think about it it is so much like our world today and this guy wrote it like 50 years ago. Just the fact that i am writing this review on an ereader and not actually having a conversation depicts what he wrote.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little bit of a hard read, but if you liked 1984 or other dystopian novels, this will be great for you! Powerful, thoughtful, and amazing. My only point is that the ending wasn't as conclusive as I would've liked but still great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in 7th grade but i still found this book very interestinh
JakeNJ More than 1 year ago
First, I would like to state that I really like this book, but also fear that what was written as fiction predicting reality is coming true in more ways than one. I would also like to state that I want to write about the book and then off the book, if you can say that. The main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman, but instead of putting fires out, he starts them for one purpose, to burn those objects that are feared to cause negative emotion, books. While the books are not really disallowed by the government, they are objects that deemed dangerous and those who harbor them. At first it seems that it is another despotic novel where the characters are fearful by what government or as we have seen, "Big Brother" in 1984, is enforcing as a rule of law, but it is even more than that. As we find out, the books can be burned in more ways then one and that is where the object off the book, the topic and how it came to live even more interesting than even the novel itself, which I will touch in a little bit. What we also see, what Ray Bradbury talks about is in house parlors. The shows where the viewer interacts with the show, so as per what we have seen recently, reality shows, but with interactive aspect to them. The viewer is not just watching the shows, but also being fed information that they want them to think, feel and live by. Then of course the sleeping "brainwashing" and so it goes on and on, on the daily 24 hour basis. It is interesting that while reading this book, we find out more about what our society is doing now, while reading something that was written a few decades before. The books didn't just disappear and did not get outlawed, but the viewer became abscessed with the "family" in the parlor shows. The books started to be less and less paid attention to, hence the opportune moment for the government to step in and put the viewer in front of the screen and away from the books. Government seized the moment when people distanced themselves from reading and educating themselves, therefore fallen prey to whatever they were being fed via TV shows. Then of course as we find out everything else follows. I like an interesting point and concept what made this book possible and grow to its fruition. In this version of the novel, we have "Fahrenheit 451", but also explanations, praises and positive critique by various writers. We also have explanation by the author himself. Why the book is called "Fahrenheit 451", what and when it gained such clever title and why the author decided to write about this topic. One of the very interesting points here is that there is more than one way to "burn" the books. One is the physically burn them in the fire, as Stalin, Hitler and many other tyrants have done. There is also another way to do it, as Ray Bradbury points out. If you are not reading the books, changing their content, taking out words and even characters to "please" the general public or as Ray points out, suit the needs to minorities, who want something changed, therefore killing and burning the very meaning of the book itself, literary burning it. The concept, the title, the meaning behind this novel, is absolutely genius. It is in the same genre and level of well written novels, as "We", "Brave New World", "1984" and another one, which I have not yet read, but what actually ignited (no punt intended) the idea for Mr Bradbury to write this novel, "Darkness at Noon".
B_Wiggs More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury opens the world of reading to the reader in a world that leaves it undiscovered. When reading it for the first time, in eighth grade, I was astonished and allured by the premise of the book, that being books. A book about books! At the age of 13 and 14, some scenes were hard to picture reading it, but that's the great thing about reading; if you don't understand it the first time, you go back and read it again. Since then, I've currently have read the book for the third time and clearly understand what happened to Montag's wife during the night. Looking back I loved it then and love it even more now because I went back to see the changes and stagnant feelings that socially encompass our world. Fahrenheit 451 reflects our reality like a mirror, just like Clarisse does to Montag, and we have Ray to thank for that. I'll never read an e-book because I know, and I see it my classmates disdain, that I will soon be desensitized towards books in print. What's more personal, warm and inviting than a nice, old and wrinkly book? 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for reports or even just casual reading. Total Must Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
6 words. It was a pleasure to burn. (And read over and over again)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it, though the beginning was really slow.
RBradbury More than 1 year ago
This book is a wake up call to life as we know it. Taking place in the future it not only exploits the endless possibilities of what would happen in the future if we choose to neglect our: opinions and emotions but it also shines light on the endless fight, that man refuses to give up on in order, to resurrect from it's mistakes. Truly honoring one of the best scientific writer's of all time. Bradbury simply tells the story of Montag a firefighter who unlike the rest questions his very sanity after meeting a young girl Clarrisse unlike the rest. With the countless allusions, this book adopts broad time periods from authors from the victorian era and even ancient myths back in egyptian times. In the future where books are banned and roaring tv's take there place, people just stand in line and do as they are told the regular robots and people who aren't so adhesive to the rules are frowned upon and might even turn up dead. Teens kill each other in intentional car acciendents, people overdose on pills only to have their stomachs vaccumed out leaving them to do it over and over again, women who have constant abortions and husbands, and a war that seems to take place throughout the world and within the soceity.
thomashaynes More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, it was hard to read at the beginning of the book, I wont lie, but as I read along and along, and got into   the plot, I began to understand what was happening and the themes Bradbury was trying to point out to us.  The book itself was not made to understand the plot, but was to understand the symbolism Bradbury used, which was really impure ssive.  This book is definitely for you  if your into the science  fiction type of literature as Bradbury makes incredi ble references and predictions to things we use today, while writing this in the early 50's... But, as a firefighter who lights things (books) up instead of putting them out, you might want a literature guide to help you out along the way, since it gets a little fuzzy at times.  The characters in the story, Guy Montag and Clarrise, lead the way for all the rebels to come out of their shells and prove the government of their wrong-doing.  Mildred Montag, the “wife” of Guy is an ordinary person in the emotionless world, not caring about anything that happens to herself or anyone for that matter.  Many other characters will come up in this book with strange or unforeseeable identities. The entire country, which is depicted as the near future of America, lives in a dystopian society that is surprisingly and mysteriously cut off from the rest of the earth.  In this world, no one shows love, or any emotion at that, in the meaningless time.  Books are forbidden in the country, allowing the government to have more control over more uneducated people who stare at giant screens with colorful images for most of the day.  To those who do not abide by the strict laws laid down by the government, will be hunted down by a hound ready to kill.  This isn't the average hound, as this creature is a robotic dog.  The mechanical hound has a “four inch hollow steel needle” coming from its snout ready to inject any person holding books with morphine.  The depressed world has people constantly attempting or considering suicide regularly.  This was my first ever science fiction novel and has set the bar high for the rest of them, with the amazing storytelling of Ray Bradbury leading the way, this is honestly a must read to anyone who enjoys a novel in their hands.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good read. Wished the ending was better though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never read Fahrenheit 451 during the 60' or 70's but I'd heard of the book. As I read it now as a senior citizen, I saw a lot of similarities in issues that are current nowadays. As the featured book of the Big Read, the book sparked very spirited and book discussions and aevery discussion took a different path on varied topics brought up.
Beamer_426 More than 1 year ago
 I personally enjoyed this book, although I thought it had some more boring parts. I thought some  parts had to much going on and made me confused. I was disappointed when Clarisse never  returned. It never specifically clarified that Clarisse even died, it was more of a possibility or  suggestion. I thought Fahrenheit 451 expressed the importance of knowledge very well.  I think that Ray Bradbury is an extremely creative person to have come up with an excellent  novel like this with such an out of the box idea. I loved the ending and how mysterious it is.  Clarisse could have found Montag, Montag could have fallen in love for real, he and the book  people could have changed the laws and taught the people how important books really are. It left lots of room for creativity at the end, so that you as the reader could made conclusions for  yourself. It doesn't tell you if Faber was ok or if Mildred died set in her old ways. Fahrenheit 451  was an excellent book, and had no imperfections what soever, I personally thought the book was  not my type. I enjoy books with a little more love and happiness. I overall thought this book was okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly ageless masterpiece!! The writing is engaging. The plot is very compelling, and how it still relates to our own society evrn today is quite amazing. Bradbury created something incredible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book.
GraceBeagles More than 1 year ago
This book is about a firefighter who burns books and houses, instead of putting them out. Ray Bardbury has a very different style of writing. This book was slightly confusing for me, some of the descriptions I did not understand until my English teacher explained them to the class. Overall, the book had a good message, and I liked how it ended with the Hobos being able to start over in the city.
sarahp0 More than 1 year ago
This book is about books being banned. People are not allowed to read books and if they have books then their house will be burned down. No one really has feelings for anything and do not communicate well. Montag gets a different perspective and tries to change the city.
GuilhermeSolari 24 days ago
"It was a pleasure to burn." In a future society, books are forbidden and "firemen" responsible for burning the remaining titles. That's the job of one Guy Montag, but he begins to question his role as he gets in contact with a teenager who reads secretly. And he becomes himself a criminal reader of smuggled books. The most surprising thing about Fahrenheit 451 is that it's premise could, in the hands of a lesser writer, easily turn a condescending little lesson about the importance of reading books. But like any work of art that would be missed if it was burned, Fahrenheit 451 doesn't want to give you answers. The book wants you to ask questions. The main point for me is not that books are burned. That is only the most dramatic side of something bigger: that society allows them to be burned, and that no one is interested in reading in the first place. The only sources of distraction for the denizens of Fahrenheit 451 are sports or soap operas in televisions the size of entire walls. The speed of television does not allow you to stop and think, just swallow that entertainment loaf. From this insipid entertainment are born people who literally talk to the walls and a society unable to question. Montag's wife, Mildred is one example. She can't talk about anything other than the soaps or what threatens her financial security. She is a cattle-person, described as having an invisible cataract behind her pupils, afraid of anything different, incapable of thinking or feeling without directions from the TV or authorities. Montag discovers how they can't connect to one another because in the end they don't know their own history. And without that knowledge you can't even know who you are, or what you want. Today is 2015, and the society described in Fahrenheit 451 seems even more palpable than when the book was written in 1953. The internet shortens our attention span towards shorter and simpler texts and videos. More than ever we more intelligent - we have access to an ocean of information literally at our finger tips - but we are not wise. We don't know what to do with our information. And we have no memory. The social media timelines dictate the discussion of the day, what funny video is trending, what news we should be disgusted with, what meme will be the big joke for a day or two before it is once again forgotten. Fahrenheit 451 even reminds us of the "mass society judgments" that lead to self-censorship. I believe reading is fundamentally important for wisdom, more than any other art form. Reading is solitary work. It demands silence, and to let your ideas absorb the author's, contest them, accept or adapt. Fahrenheit 451 says that you can't make others think, but I believe it comes with a good recipe for wisdom: "Number one, like I said, is quality of information. Number two: time to digest. And number three: the right to conduct your actions based on what we learn from the two previous items."
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