Feminism in the Novel Fahrenheit 451

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William Shakespeare has once stated that “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven”. Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel that shows the life of a very controlled society. The society is not allowed to read books and is punished for doing so. Bradbury makes a wider point about the dangers that a divided society can present. It is clear from the novel that books are seen to be the source of all unhappiness and should therefore be embargo. The novel’s protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman. Montag’s job is to not to put out fires, as is the case in today’s society but instead to create fires in order to dispose of all undesirable books. This creates an idea of dystopia by the government trying to please everyone by using censorship to limit people’s independence and free thinking. First of all, this story begins with the beliefs of people that all books were lies. Books had no one meaning to them, so it was better to be burn then to keep. Guy Montag, was a fireman who had a job to burn down books and houses that had books in them went from loving his job to hating his job. “ Kerosene, he said, because the silence had lengthened, “is nothing but perfume to me”(Bradbury 4).

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Montag loved his job because of the scent he got out of burning books was a smell to others, but it was a perfume for him. He was the best man on job. He always enjoyed his job, until Clarisse McClellan comes in his life. Clarisse is a wide-eyed 17 year old girl to whom Montag is drawn. Clarisse is interested in parts of the world Montag does not understand, such as watching people, looking at the moon, and smelling the leaves. Clarisse has no taste for the advanced technology her society has come to depend on. She comes into Montag’s life and immediately begins to question his relationship with his wife, his career, and above all his happiness. She also shows him to appreciate the simple things in life, she teaches him to care about other people and their feelings. By the end of the novel, we can see that Montag is alternated. Montag esteems Clarisse for her curiosity and awareness of the world around her, and is disturbed by her accurate understanding of his empty, loveless life.

Thus, Clarisse is the first to encourage Montag on his path to self-awareness. Later she is killed by a speeding car. Her death represents the intolerance of an overbearing, dehumanized society for those who do not conform. Second of all, Montag had lots of things going on his mind how his wife was an addict to television and radio. Her habit of taking sleeping pills was becoming a problem. “Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God”(Bradbury 55). She just sat at home watching television, like she was all surrounded by technology and wanted more. Then she attempted to suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. Mostly of all, how his wife was just running always from his heart. Montag was unhappy it was more like he wanted to find a reason to his unhappiness. One day Montag and the other firemen burn a woman alive in her own home, because she refuses to abandon her books. At this fire, Montag secretly takes a book home. So, Montag started to read the books he stole even though he was forbidden to read the books. This was the point when Montag realized that reading was really touching. He started thinking that his wife was just wasting her time watching television because sh0e was limited to think about what was on television.

Then he thought books were better because you can sit and image your own thoughts while reading. Montag stole a book from the house. When he came back home he saw it was the Bible. Montag really wanted to save it because it was the only copy in the world. He went to Professor Faber, a man of books who Montag met once long ago, for guidance in his quest for knowledge, who was also his teacher. They both decided to reprint the Bible. Montag was discovered that he had books in his house. The fireman came to burn his house down. After that there was a moment between Captain Betty (the antagonist-that runs the fire house where Montag works) and Montag when he tells Captain how important are books and they actually make you happy. Montag is dismayed to discover that now it is his own house that is to be burned. He burns everything and killed Captain Beatty. As he himself also realized the importance of the books. The whole city was almost burnt. But Faber and Montag survived. This was the end to the society who was senseless, emotionless, has no feelings at all. Third of all, this novel invokes much thought about the way we live in society today. It talks about ignorance of knowledge and also gives a review of feminism. It means that a man is controlling over women. He wants the women to do what is in his interest. “ Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic that any dream made or paid for in factories… To hell with that, he said, ‘shake the tree and knock the great sloth down”(Bradbury 150).

As of today, feminism is a movement for equality of women to men. feminism is a moment to make equal political, social and economical opportunities for women. Even though women have all the rights as the men, there are certain things women do not have. Women get paid less even though they have the same qualifications as men. Women started this movement because they feel that it is harsh to see how men are always superior to women even though they probably do not even have the same qualifications as them. Because man is putting his views on the women so she doesn’t have any importance. The thing about not giving the rights to the women could put women down to the heart that no matter what they will always be under men. In the novel the women are also mistreated in a way that they did not get importance from the males. There are only five women mentioned in the novel and they have a little role. They did not have to protest or struggle for the books being burned or not. And that is what makes me think that feminism is also a part of this novel. In conclusion, both of these topics are just being talked about for society, everything has a different importance in the society. If there were not any books for us to read or match our thoughts, we would have no clear view to anything. Just as if women were not in society there would not be much things men would be able to do. Books are there to give us information and ideas. If we just want to read them they could actually take us away from reality that we can forget a lot of thing. Books could symbolize life because they are that important. Whereas women are also important because if there were no women there would not be a world so I think we need to give everyone more importance.

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Feminism in the Novel Fahrenheit 451. (2019, Apr 10). Retrieved February 3, 2023 , from

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