Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel about a society in the future where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that they find. The novel follows the life a fireman named Guy Montag who eventually instead of burning books decides to protect them even thought it is illegal. There are certain elements in the novel that are relevant to our world today. Those elements include that books are important, that people can be distracted from what is really important, and that ignorance can cause people to do terrible things.
One of the elements in the novel that is relevant to current society is that books are important and meaningful. One quote that exemplifies this is: The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag begins to question the intention of burning the books. This curiosity within him draws him to reading books and he becomes friends with a man named Faber who was an English professor from when books were not banned. Faber teaches Montag that books are what he has been missing in his life. This element, that books are important, is relevant in our current society because today more and more people are becoming obsessed with modern technology and other forms of media.
Another element in the novel that is relevant today is that people can be distracted from what is really important. Montag describes his experience with the parlor when he states, When it was all over he felt like a man who had been thrown from a cliff, whirled in a centrifuge, and spat out over a waterfall that fell and fell into emptiness and emptiness and never-quite-touched-bottom-never-never-quite-no not quite-touched bottom… and you fell so fast you didn’t touch the sides either… never… quite… touched… anything” In the novel, Mildred, Montags wife, spends her days watching screens and uses this to escape from reality. At one point in the novel, Mildred attempted suicide and after the incident she did not recall what had happened. This shows she is more connected to her virtual friends in the parlor than her own life. Later, she seems unaffected by the death of a neighbor, Clarisse. This is more evidence that she is disconnected from the world around her. This is relevant to our world today because as people interact through digital devices they become less aware of the people around them. The similarities between Mildreds parlor and modern digital devices is astounding for a book that was written in 1953.
The novel shows how ignorance can cause people to do terrible things. One quote that exemplifies this is a quote from Beatty that says, The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. This quote shows how the firemen were totally oblivious to the serious nature of the situation and did not know what they were doing. The firemen did their job without understanding the harm they were doing. They thought their job was an honorable profession. In reality, they were destroying knowledge and ideas. They clearly did not realize what they were doing when they burned the old woman along with her books. This is relevant to current society because people still do bad things out of ignorance. Examples of this include discrimination against racial, ethnic, and religious groups.
Fahrenheit 451 presents elements that are relevant to problems we have today. It provides warnings that we should acknowledge to have a better future.
A Book That Should Be Saved
By Delia Linstrom
In Fahrenheit 451, the destruction of books is a major factor in the end of civilization. Books are very important because they let people learn about others, their perspectives and experiences. One book that I would be the most distressed to see disappear is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This novel describes the relationship between the son of a Nazi soldier and a Jewish kid in a concentration camp during World War II. I think that losing this book would be upsetting because it has many themes that I believe would benefit people in the future. During the novel, Bruno, the son of the Nazi soldier, befriends a kid living in the concentration camp next to their home. They two of them became close friends as they were oblivious to the current situation. I think their strong relationship, even during difficult circumstances, show how strong friendships can be. I think that a lesson about friendship would be important for people in the future. The novel also describes some of the events that took place during World War II. I think that it would be good for people in the future to know about racial hate and how it can lead to war and conflict. I believe that learning about World War II, would help others realize how good and evil humans can be.