Bloomington High School North Library

Bloomington High School North

Fahrenheit 451

Review by James Decaro on February 18, 2016

Categories: Fiction, Science Fiction

What would you do if there were no longer any libraries, and reading old books was prohibited? This is exactly the case in Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. It is a book about censorship. The setting is a futuristic society that has done away with many things that are taken for granted today, like books and firefighters. Because of fire-proof building materials, firefighters as they were are no longer needed. The government decided that books were unnecessary, and so the new occupation of firefighters was to burn all books. Guy Montag is one such firefighter. Firefighters go to libraries, houses, and any place where books are stored and then bathe them in kerosene. Then they light a match and enjoy the flames as the treasures of past generations go up in smoke and flames. One day after work, Guy meets a 17 year old young woman that questions whether or not the changes made in society, like the burning of books, are really improvements. This causes Guy to wonder if the job he's doing is a good line of work, and if it's moral or not to destroy books. All he has ever heard is that books are bad, but what if they hold a valuable secret? This begins Guy's new stage of life, in which he tries to find the truth about books and why no one is allowed to read them.
Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent read even though it is fairly short. I read it all in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about complex political issues or science fiction.