Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 “What power I feel at the thought of fire! ” quoted Joseph Kallinger. This could not be proved truer in Fahrenheit 451, a novel by Ray Bradbury, for Guy Montag, a firefighter. His job is to start fires and burn books as ordered by the government that dominates the society. Although Montag begins to resist, Mildred, his wife, is the most willing to follow orders. His innocent neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, totally objectifies against the government. Bradbury uses Mildred’s and Clarisse’s different personality, entertainment, and relationship with Montag to criticize the modern society.

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To begin with, Mildred and Clarisse have opposite characters. After reviving from drugging herself unconscious Mildred says, “What? Did we have a wild party or something? Feel like I’ve a hangover. ”(Pg 19) This shows that Mildred is careless and irresponsible for her actions. Her carelessness is the cause of dismay in the society. As Montag tries to reassure Mildred of her actions she retaliates, “You don’t look so hot yourself. ”(Pg 19) Mildred seems to feel insecure and unopen about herself so she disapproves of Montag as to make things even. Bradbury uses this judgmental trait of hers to portray the one of the society.

When Clarisse is introducing herself to Montag she says, “ I’m seventeen and crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. ”(Pg 7) Clearly, she plays an optimistic teenage role but it is seen as “anti-social” in society. These two highly contrast from one another. Moving on, Clarisse and Mildred have distinct and obvious choices of entertainment. Clarisse explains to Montag that she “rarely watches the ‘the parlor walls’ or races or Fun parks” like the other kids and adults. (Pg9) She sets herself apart from the kids her own age. Bradbury uses this to reveal how the modern society has outcasts.

As she walks with Montag and picks up a flower she says, “I guess it’s the last of the dandelions this year. ” Obviously, Clarisse spends more of her time in nature and observes the environment around. She does not mind spending time with other people. Mildred though tells Montag about the parlor walls, “ It’s really fun. It’ll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. ” Mildred really enjoys watching the parlor walls since she is interested in acquiring a fourth wall. She explains her obsession by referring to the people on the walls as “family” which society deems appropriate.

Over all, Clarisse and Mildred have different hobbies. Lastly, Mildred’s and Clarisse’s relationships with Montag appear to be more or less than what it looks on the outside. Whenever Mildred and Montag talk with one another, Mildred is known to be “lip reading. ”(Pg18) She never actually hears Montag’s voice and that is a sign of annoyance to him. It is an inefficient way of communication between the two. When Montag asks Mildred how they met she replies, “Funny, how funny, not to remember where or when you met your husband’r wife. (Pg43) Plainly, Montag and Mildred give the impression that they do not love or care for each other if they cannot remember how they met. Bradbury uses this to show how society has a lack of personal communication. While Clarisse and Montag are talking she says, “You’re not like the others. I’ve seen a few; I know. ”(Pg23) Montag and Clarisse spend such limited time talking to one another yet she feels as if she already knows how he is. It shows how they enjoy each other’s company and connect in a vague way. Mildred and Clarisse have different perspectives of their relationship

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