Fahrenheit 451 (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

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Overview

SparkNotes

Today’s Most Popular Study Guides

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Smarter Better Faster

SparkNotes

Fahrenheit 451

  • Featuring explanations of key Themes, Motifs, and Symbols including:
Censorship Paradoxes

Blood The Sieve and the Sand

Animals and Nature Knowledge vs. Ignorance

  • And detailed analysis of these important characters:
Guy Montag

Mildred Montag

Captain Beatty

SparkNotes

Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes give you just what you need to succeed in school.

Each SparkNote contains:

  • Complete Plot Summary and Analysis
  • Key Facts about the Work
  • Analysis of Major Characters
  • Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
  • Explanation of Important Quotations
  • Author’s Historical Context
  • Suggested Essay Topics
  • 25-Question Review Quiz
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Join millions of students at SparkNotes.com where you’ll find over 1000 study guides on history, poetry, philosophy, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Post questions, get help from other students, and browse the most recent additions to the SparkNotes collection.

Spark Publishing’s Literature Guides are celebrating their 5th Anniversary! To celebrate this, we’re giving our TOP 50 a revamp by adding some exciting new features.

There will be sixteen pages devoted to writing a literary essay including:

  • Glossary of literary terms,
  • Step by step tutoring on how to write a literary essay
  • Feature on how not to plagiarized.

Each book will also include an A+ Essay; an actual literary essay written about the Spark-ed book, to show students how an essay should be written.

Spark Publishing’s Literature Guides are celebrating their 5th Anniversary!  To celebrate this, we’re giving our TOP 50 a revamp by adding some exciting new features.

 

There will be sixteen pages devoted to writing a literary essay including:

  • Glossary of literary terms,
  • Step by step tutoring on how to write a literary essay
  • Feature on how not to plagiarized.
 

Each book will also include an A+ Essay; an actual literary essay written about the Spark-ed book, to show students how an essay should be written.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes is a new breed of study guide: smarter, better, faster. Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes provides chapter-by-chapter analysis; explanations of key themes, motifs, and symbols; and a review quiz and essay topics. Lively and accessible, these guides are perfect for late-night studying and writing papers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411488649
  • Publisher: Spark Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/11/2007
  • Series: SparkNotes Literature Guide Series
  • Format: Spark Note
  • Sales rank: 118,110
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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(11)

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(6)

2 Star

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(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2006

    Novel Review- Fahrenheit 451

    When examining Fahrenheit 451, a science fiction novel written by Ray Bradbury, one must first consider the time and circumstance when it was conceived and written. World War II had recently ended and the Cold War was raging. The Communist were ruling the countries behind the Iron Curtain with a very firm hand. Bradbury has chosen a time and a place four hundred years in the future to deliver his message of censorship and government control. He shows the reader a strange society and a culture shaped by strict governmental control of all facets of life. He uses an uneducated working class character named Guy Montag to show the virtues of the individual and the corruption that can be found in governments. Montag, as the central character, is awakened from a violent job as a fireman who burns people, books, and buildings in support of a corrupt government that wants total control and censorship of all aspects of society. Several themes are brought to life through the characters in the novel including man against man, good versus evil, and the individual versus society. Bradbury erases all references to the past and installs a life that is very advanced and high tech in terms of modern conveniences, but yet it is very prehistoric in terms of its oppression and absence of personal freedoms. Through Montag, Bradbury uses a working class hero to portray a victory over oppression. The battle for personal freedoms is important in the book as Bradbury shows us what can happen when man is denied the opportunity to exercise his freedoms of thought or even to remember his past or look up to his forefathers. While this story takes place in a relatively short period of time in the life of the hero, Guy Montag, it shows very clearly how the author felt about the twin evils of oppression and censorship. After meeting his neighbor Clarisse, who dies early, Montag begins to realize how important personal freedoms are. We are shown through Clarisse, Mildred, and Beatty what happens when individual freedoms are denied. Bradbury, who does not use a lot of deep, expanded character development, uses his characters very effectively. Each of these characters is sacrificed to show the dangers of rigid governmental control and total oppression. In contrast, Bradbury uses the characters of Granger, Faber, and Montag to show that an individual can make a difference in society. He gives us a lesson, the theme of which says it is important to fight for our freedoms, as they are not a guaranteed right. Bradbury does a great job in making me think about how precious our freedoms remain. After reading and re-reading the novel, I have really come to appreciate his style and the unique story that he has woven. His characters are appropriate for the time frame of the story, but each has a vital role in delivering the themes and messages that Bradbury wishes to convey to the reader. The message that Bradbury brings to the reader in Fahrenheit 451 shows what can happen if we consent to allow our governments to take total control over what we read, watch, think, or talk about. While many people and virtually all books were victims of censorship in Fahrenheit 451, some individuals were willing to fight and make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that books and freedoms would continue to survive.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    Just Read the Book

    If you intend to read this in order to get out of reading the book...just don't. It is very cumbersome and detailed. This book is best used for in-depth discussions in a college class or a book club.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    try it

    its a good overview or summary of the story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2006

    Flvs student - a good book

    FAHRENHEIT 451 REVIEW This story takes place in some 21st century where technology is very developed. The novel revolves around the charachter named Guy Monatg and he is a fireman that burns books for government. The antagonist in this book is Monatg¿s chief Capitan Beatty. In the society of this novel people live without books, because they are illegal. They don¿t have knowledge they are not interested in such things as nature, history¿What they are interested in is to have fun and not to worry about other things.. What they actually do is drive cars very fast, watch a lot of television and listen to radio. But all this is also part of the government that hides things and facts from society. They are also making people busy and stuffed with so many things that the mind of the people drinks less and less. Main character Guy Monatg is married with Mildred but they don¿t really love each other but this is actually normal for society they live in. But after a while Montag realizes trough a girl named Clarisse that other things are more important then having fun all the time and that people used to do other things then they do now like sit and talk in front porches or looking at the moon and think about how and why things work, which people don¿t really do anymore. So he decides to do something about that, and he goes and sees one guy named Faber that he met already before and asks him for help. As the story revolves Monatg gets betrayed by his wife because of trying to bring books back to society. At the end he escapes the city and meets other people similar to him and they are determined to bring back the knowledge and books back to society. I think this book is great even for me. Because normally I never enjoy reading books so that¿s why I don¿t read them too much, but this book I liked because it shows where people¿s mind can be driven, and how technology can affect us, even tough I don¿t believe that something like this can happen to our society I think it¿s a good book that shows we are being a little bit too busy with technology and that we are forgetting how important books are and how important is to remember the past, so we can learn from it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    ehhh

    this sucks...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    Amazing!

    I loved the book.I've never tried this though.So....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2006

    dissappointing

    I read the book ¿Fahrenheit 451¿ by Ray Bradbury. I would give this book a rating of 2 out of 5 stars. The reasons I wouldn¿t give this book a good rating are: 1. The book was very short, only 186 pages. 2. There was not enough information given about the characters. 3. The story line of the book was not very good. 4. The idea of the book is very boring. 5. Its plot is that there is a fire team and the team captain believes that knowledge should be eliminated from earth so he makes his fire team burn books. Instead of putting out fires with water hoses, they actually feed them with kerosene hoses. 6. The setting of the book is the future, which no one can actually describe this because no one knows what this planet will be like in years to come. If you compare these facts with one of the most popular books that are out today, ex: ¿Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince¿ by J.K Rowling, I would give ¿Harry Potter¿ a rating of 4.8 out of 5 because: 1. Its length is much better, over 650 pages. 2. There is much more information about the characters what they look like, how old they are, what their role in the story is, etc. 3. The story line is much better. Sometimes it is a little predictable but hardly ever. 4. Its characters are also more realistic than those of ¿Fahrenheit 451.¿ 5. Both of these stories are fiction. This is okay however some people do not like fiction books. 6. This story however may be the most popular one out right now yet may not even be the best of it¿s series. It is the newest of the series that is why it is so popular. The best book in its series is probably the one that came out prior to this one, ¿Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix¿. I would give ¿Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix¿ a 5 out of 5 star rating. The reasons I like this book most are: 1. It¿s length: 870 pages. 2. It¿s story line is even better than the one of ¿Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.¿ 3. It¿s setting remains the same throughout the whole series. 4. Its plot is very good for a fiction book. As you can see, overall, if you enjoy fiction books, ¿Harry Potter is one that will not let you down. I would highly recommend the ¿Harry Potter¿ series by J.K Rowling to anybody over ¿Fahrenheit 451¿ by Ray Bradbury.

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    Keeping the Population Happy

    I really enjoyed reading Fahrenheit 451. I thought it was a good reflection of what happens when people forget about important things, and just live doing what makes them happy. In this book, firemen have the job of burning books, and not just certain ones, all books. They burn the books because they make some people unhappy, and in the book¿s world, anything that makes someone unhappy has to be taken away. The protagonist, Montag is one of these firemen. He has enjoyed his life and burning books is the norm for him both his father and grandfather were also firemen. Montag doesn¿t question anything about his life until he meets one teenage girl. A girl who thinks in a world of ignorance. This girl, Clarisse, is somehow immune to the oppression of society, and after talking to her, Montag starts to wonder. He wonders if maybe firemen actually did put out fires in the past instead of starting them. He wonders if houses weren¿t always fireproof. Also, he wonders if front porches really were on houses once. Now, it¿s as if he can¿t stop thinking about things. Likewise, Montag realizes that if people actually started reading books, the world just might start to change. When Montag needs help from someone, he remembers a long-forgotten day in the park, when he sat and talked with an old man. The man was a retired English professor named Faber, who was out of a job due to the closing of many colleges. After talking to him for a while, he realizes the man has a book in his pocket. They continue to talk, and, at the end of their conversation, Faber hands Montag a piece of paper with his address on it, in case he changes his mind and decides to turn him in. I think this showed the truth about Montag, for he had kept the piece of paper for a long time and yet never turned it in. I think most firemen wouldn¿t even had talked with Faber, and would have just taken him off to jail once they realized he had a book. This makes me think that Montag was, even then, not quite as opposed to books as he told himself he was he had just never had the chance to read and enjoy them. Sometimes the book was a little confusing. I think it was because the writing style is as if it was really someone¿s thoughts, and not a simplified version to help you understand. I think this because in some parts of the book you felt as if you were realizing something with the protagonist, instead of having it told to you. In addition, it seemed as if the setting was contradictory at times, for it spoke of wide boulevards and a traditional-looking farmhouse. Nevertheless, I still liked reading Fahrenheit 451.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2006

    Fahrenheit 451 Review

    I thought that this book was surprising at the end. It started off slow and boring, but as I read it got much better. The ending wrapped everything up with a nice twist and the protagonist won in the end. The whole story board was a little weird with the whole ¿burn books¿ theory. I thought that the censorship in this book was a little extreme. It would have been more interesting to me if the censorship would have revolved around some other object, but it worked pretty well with the Bible. This book took place in and around an unknown city. And it was sometime in the twenty-first century after the two atomic wars in the 1900¿s which were mentioned. There was a lot of symbolism and foreshadowing in this book. It had mentioned the bible a few times before the ending summarized with Montag memorizing some of the Bible. I think that the symbolism was very important in this story because it helps relay the message. Some symbolism that happened was the 451 on the helmets resembled the rate at which paper burns. I thought that was clever. There where mirrors in the story and I think that the mirrors resemble man taking a look at himself. Another symbol, the most important, is the Phoenix. This represents man in the book. This is because in the book, they go to war and blow themselves up and recreate everything they lost. The Phoenix is similar because it builds up heat and eventually incinerates itself. It also respawns from the ashes. An important character in the story was Clarisse because without her, Montag probably wouldn¿t have gotten so interested in books. Another one is Faber because he helped guide Montag and carry out his plans of planting books in firemen¿s houses. In my opinion, an unimportant character was Mildred because her role in the story wasn¿t very large and the story could have moved just fine without her. A character that acted against Montag was Captain Beatty. He tried to keep Montag¿s interests away from books and keep them on work. He knew something was up when he called in sick, so he tried to get his focus back. By then Montag was too far into books and had his mind made up that he wouldn¿t go back. The theme of the story was conflict. I think that a society that is against books is bound to have rebels. Montag was a normal guy until he questioned his life. It was the ¿mirror¿ (him taking a look at himself or his life) that made him get curious about books. When he got curious, he didn¿t just look at one book. He got obsessed with them and searched for a plan to read more. I think that this is how the conflict of the story started. The rising action of the story started when Montag stole the book from the lady¿s house. The falling action started when he was on the run in the country. That led to the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    451 FIRE EXTINGUISHER PLEASE!

    the book was mainly about Montag's dilemmas. Should he preserve books, or should he torch them? Should he be an individual or should he stay in a crumbling community? The book showed how every scenario led up to each path being chosen and how the ending all played out beautifully. Truthfully, it was an alright book. it wouldn't be the first or the second thing i would pick up to read. some parts were hard to follow and many parts lost my attention COMPLETELY. The characters were fairly well developed-the antagonist was a bit hard to decide on....but yes, it was an alright book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2005

    Excellent!

    I read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I loved this novel! This novel shows a bleak future where conformity is the rule, and creativity is nonexistent. The hero, Guy Montag, is a fireman who sets fires. He begins to see how maybe his world is wrong, and begins to doubt himself, his wife, and his society. The fight to gain wisdom and freedom from oppression that he undertakes is awesome. It is truly a parallel of Germany in WWII, and the destruction caused by ignorance. I was also scared by this novel. My generation will grow up with Homeland Security. It made me wonder exactly how far they will go to create the illusion of security¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    Fahrenheit 451 Review

    Fahrenheit 451 has a very fiery subject: the firemen start the fires, not stop them! Books are illegal and if you are caught reading a book, your house, and all the books in it, is burned. Guy Montag is a fireman who loved his job. Then he meets a girl named Clarisse who tells him about how the people in the past were not afraid and once the firemen stopped fires. Montag soon finds he is curious about books and starts to read them. Then Montag meets an old college professor named Faber who has a dream of a future with books. Montag knows what he has to do to help Faber get his dream, as he soon realizes that that is his dream, too. He finds himself on the run and escapes the city. Fahrenheit 451 is a great book, though it does have some mild language in it. In Fahrenheit 451, I think the author, Ray Bradbury, is trying to teach us to follow our dreams, even in the worst of situations. One example from the text is when Montag is running out of the city. He is chased by the police and The Hound. At one point, he gets so tired and he thinks he can't make it, and he decides to visit Faber one last time. While there, Faber helps him and Montag kept running. Another example in the book is when Montag has to burn his own house down because of his curiosity of books. His wife turned in the alarm and some of the fire chief drove down to his house and commanded Montag to burn his house. This was when he started running, after he burned his house. The Hound was in his yard and it attacked him. Montag survived, but his leg was seriously asleep from the chemicals in The Hound. He tried to get up to run, but couldn't. He kept willing himself to get up, to get out of the city, and eventually he did. He could have just laid there until he got caught or was killed, but he willed himself to keep following his and Faber's dream. This is a great book and I hope others enjoy it, too. It is great for high school students to use for a book report. It is great for high school assignments other than book reports. It is great for just leisurely reading. And finally, it is great for sitting and reading it with your family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    review on fahrenheit 451

    Review for Fahrenheit 451 by: Ray Bradbury Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a city that is in the future. In this world the firemen start fires rather than putting them out. Montag is one of the major characters in the book. Mildred is his wife and she is kind of childish and she enjoys watching TV and such but the people in this society don¿t read books, enjoy nature, spend time by themselves, think alone, or have important conversations. Instead, they drive very fast, watch a lot of TV, and listen to the radio. At his house, Montag discovers that his own wife has turned him in. In a rage, he kills Beatty is the captain of Montag¿s fire department. Although he is himself extremely educated, ironically he hates books and people who insist on reading them. But Montag is then attacked by the hound. He manages to escape and goes to see Faber who is a retired English professor whom Montag encountered a year before the book opens. Seeking help while Montag is in exile, the long-awaited war finally breaks out. The city that Montag has come from is completely destroyed. After the fighting is over, Montag and the others walk back to the city. They are determined to build a new civilization there. One of the themes I thought would be good for this book is knowledge versus Ignorance or like awareness versus unawareness. Montag and another character Beatty¿s struggle revolve around the tension between knowledge and ignorance. The fireman¿s duty is to destroy knowledge and promote ignorance in order to level the population and promote similarity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2005

    Please don't sparknote this book!!!

    This book is far too good to only read the sparknotes for. SPARKNOTES ARE AGAINST EVERYTHING THE THEME OF THIS BOOK STANDS FOR. Fahrenheit 451 rebels against the abridging of written works and to read the sparknotes on this book would be to reject everything the book means. In Bradbury's account of an alternate future, he mentions that books will be shortened to smaller versions for easier digestion so 'one can enjoy all the classics....' Only reading sparknotes for Fahrenheit 451 is hypocritical to the entire message of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2004

    Fahrenheit 451 (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

    'Fahrenheit 451' tells the story of Guy Montag, a fireman, who doesn't fight fires ,he starts them in order to destroy books and any buildings that conceal them. He is happy with his job and always has been. But an unexpected series of events causes Montag to begin questioning the things he has hitherto accepted as undisputable. First he sees a woman burned alive in her home when she refuses to surrender her books. Montag meets two people who illustrate two ideas he has never before considered .¿ One is a young girl, a new neighbor who proclaims herself 'seventeen and crazy,' and the other is an aging professor with memories of a time before.¿ (Monika, Washington State, USA) When I first read the book over a two years ago, I paid attention mostly to the plot alone, did not give the book as much thought as I should have, and was not particularly struck by it. By Re-reading it a few weeks prior to writing this, I concentrated more on the underlying themes of the book and gained a greater appreciation for Bradbury's work. The book was originally written as a short story entitled 'The Fire Man' and a few years later called 'Fahrenheit 451.' It takes a look at the ways in which censorship dulls the mind and seeks to undermine independent thought. In 'Fahrenheit 451' we see the peoples dependence on television highlighted as ¿a form of escapism from the reality of the world.¿ Montag's wife spends every waking moment watching 'the family' on the walls of the parlor. If Montag suggests that she do anything else, or even turn the volume down, she becomes distraught. She is literally lost without the world on the screen. It provides an insulation to cushion her mind from facing the darker things that hover just beneath the surface. And Mildred's repeated sleeping pill overdoses are evidence that such darker, depressing thoughts really do await her if she ever stops to ponder the world in which she exists, and just how lacking in substance it has become. In fact, the frequent references to other citizens' suicide attempts give us a clue to the very widespread nature of the problem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2004

    Fahrenheit 451 (SparkNotes Literature Guide)

    Ray Bradbury's classic about the horrors of censorship has been on and off various 'banned books' lists pretty much from the time it first appeared. That alone should be enough to trigger one's interest. 'Fahrenheit 451' tells the story of Guy Montag, a fireman. He doesn't fight fires - he starts them, in order to destroy books and any buildings that conceal them. He's happy with his job and always has been. But an unexpected series of events causes Montag to begin questioning the things he has hitherto accepted as undisputable. First he sees a woman burned alive in her home when she refuses to surrender her books. Then, Montag meets two people who expose him to ideas he has never before considered - one is a young girl, a new neighbor who proclaims herself 'seventeen and crazy,' and the other is an aging professor with memories of a time before... When I first read the book over a two years ago, I paid attention mostly to the plot alone, did not give the book as much thought as I should have, and therefore was not particularly struck by it. Re-reading it a few weeks prior to writing this, I concentrated more on the underlying themes of the book and gained a greater appreciation for Bradbury's creation. Originally written in 1950 as a short story entitled 'The Fire Man' and taking it's final, full-length form in 1953, 'Fahrenheit 451' is just as relevant today as when Bradbury first composed it. It takes a head-on look at the ways in which censorship dulls the mind and seeks to undermine independent thought. In 'Fahrenheit 451' we see this overwhelming dependence on television highlighted as a form of escapism from the reality of the world. Montag's wife spends every waking moment watching 'the family' on the walls of the parlor. If Montag suggests that she do anything else, or even turn the volume down, she becomes distraught. She is literally lost without the world on the screen. It provides an insulation to cushion her mind from facing the darker things that hover just beneath the surface. And Mildred's repeated sleeping pill overdoses are evidence that such darker, depressing thoughts really do await her if she ever stops to ponder the world in which she exists, and just how lacking in substance it has become. In fact, the frequent references to other citizens' suicide attempts give us a clue to the very widespread nature of the problem. These are all things well worth contemplating in today's world. Fewer and fewer people take the time to read nowadays. News can be obtained via television or, as is increasingly more common, via the Internet. Entertainment can be had in the form of movies, video games, and the like. And of those that still do read, simple throwaway novels are becoming keen competition for the classics and other books of real substance. The incidence of depression in our society is increasing rapidly. People are constantly looking for ways to escape the world and to avoid having to think about it. Bradbury's book, addresses all these issues and forces the reader to consider where our culture may be headed. . In these short passages Bradbury reveals the processes that went into the creation of 'Fahrenheit 451' and the incidents that inspired and shaped it. He also gives us a heavy dose of irony by relating just how frequently others have sought to censor this very book. Admirably, he has turned down every such request, even at the cost of lost business, and 'Fahrenheit 451' remains unaltered from it's original form. The story itself is short, simply written, and can be read quite quickly and easily. But it is worth considerable attention and thought, and deserves to be read by all.

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    Posted February 25, 2011

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    Posted November 18, 2010

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    Posted September 11, 2009

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    Posted August 23, 2011

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