Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Setting the Tone

Synopsis: Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

For the Writer: In Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury’s writing style seems as austere as the story’e setting. It is a lesson in ascetic narrative.  Using sparse sentences, Bradbury enhances the theme of the book, which is the deprivation of a society that has eschewed books and the thoughts living within them. Bradbury provides a great lesson in suspense in  how he mounts a growing threat that belies a benign society. One of my favourite aspects of the writing is how Bradbury constructs the narrative and dialogue as if the character is slowly waking from a drug induced delirium and becoming aware of a harsher, yet vital reality.

The story becomes somewhat overshadowed or hijacked by pedagogy, in this case a humanist ideology, which states if a society would only absorb the corpus of past knowledge as recorded, we would become truly human. I have mentioned other books that suffer to varying degrees of this malady, which, in my opinion detracts from the story or in the worse case derails it.  I have read in the submission guidelines of many publishers,  “We do not want books which are intended to teach a lesson,” a fault which even the greatest of authors are sometimes guilty.

Make no mistake. This is one of my all-time favourite works, warts and all.  A must read for anyone considering writing in the genre of sci-fi or fantasy.

Nothing like the movie by the way. Some Key elements are missing from the movie just as in the movie version of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi.

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.