Ray Bradbury originally titled Fahrenheit 451 as “The Fireman”, but he & editors found the name boring so they called a local fire station and asked what temperature book paper burnt at. The firemen put Bradbury on hold, burnt a book, and reported that the temp it burnt at was “Fahrenheit 451”
“The Novel at a Glance
Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel, a disturbing story of a future civilization in which firemen
Setting: The future; an overcrowded, mechanized,
pleasure-seeking, repressive society.
Protagonist: Guy Montag, a fireman, who after
ten years of burning books suddenly recognizes
their contribution to civilization.
Conflicts: An external conflict between Montag,
who rejects book burning, and the fire captain,
who defends it; Montag’s internal conflict between
accepting the new world—one of violence and
conformity—and wanting to return to the way
things were in the past—gentler, with room for different ideas.
Resolution: When Montag starts reading the books
he has hidden away, he and the captain meet in a
violent confrontation; Montag runs from the newworld city to join a band of wanderers who have
memorized books in order to keep centuries of
knowledge safe and available for future generations.
Themes: Life is meaningless in a controlled society
in which everyone is alike and imagination is
repressed. Technology can isolate people and
inhibit the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Without knowledge, a civilization dies or