Fahrenheit 451 Literary Analysis

In the novel Fahrenheit 451, something that bothers me is that some of the things Bradbury has described, have come true in our society today. The people in Fahrenheit 451 society are obsessed with their large flat-screen televisions as are we in today’s society. Bradbury also portrayed “seashells” which share a resemblance to ear buds as they provide sound directly to us. The novel actually mentions that people are talking to their “friends through the digital wall”- the same terminology that Facebook uses nowadays for the platform that enables people to post and see messages from one another.

Another prediction is “the loneliness that can come from constantly paying attention to the screens around you rather than the life around you”- the Washington Post, is a relevant theme in Bradbury’s novel. Bradbury also pictured automated banking machines in the novel. The machines share a similarity to ATM’s, which we now rely on frequently. The social resemblance is what is most unsettling because one of the main points of the novel is that “it is impossible to be equal, fair, or the same without serious negative repercussions not only to society, but also to ones well-being and happiness”- the Washington Post, which reminds me of how our society is turning out to be. Fahrenheit 451 is filled with conflict. The best-selling author uses man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. technology, and man vs. self in his novel to portray Montag’s conflicts.

Man vs man

It seems that Captain Beatty is out to get Montag most of the time. He knows he has been taking books, and he seems to be setting him up for the day that he burns his house. When that day comes, Montag takes the flame thrower and points it at Beatty. Beatty challenges him to “pull the trigger” and montag complies. It is man vs. man because they hunt for him. He must escape before he gets captured. The Hound is his basic rival, but the helicopters are searching for him as well.

Man vs society

Montag cannot accept what society is revealing to him about books. They have successfully stopped all thinking and turned people into those who seek pleasure. Faber informs him that the government was not at fault for the lack of books. He says that the public itself stopped reading of its own conformity. Beatty tells him that “Who knows who might be the target of a well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute.” pg 58.

Man vs technology

The Hound is a piece of technology. It is programmed to so many amino acids and butterfat and alkaline in a body. This is what allows the Hound to pursue those who are hiding books. The Hound tracks him throughout the novel. Montag kills the Hound by setting it on fire. However, they bring another sector to hunt him. He must change his scent as much as he can to escape the new enemies.

Man vs self

This is probably the most significant conflict in my opinion. Montag realizes that “There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine to make a woman stay in a burning house, there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” pg 51. He also realizes that they have everything then need to be happy, but they aren’t happy. “Something’s missing” pg 82. He realized that his life has no meaning, and he is in search of that meaning.  

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