Fahrenheit 451

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Megan Wright
Mr. Owens
English 9
14 April 2013
Rough Draft #1
451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns (Lenhoff). In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury is trying to teach the reader about the dangers of books and history as seen in characters, symbols, and events. Bradbury’s novel is about a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen are told they have to burn any house that has books in it. Books are banned because they contain contradictory ideas and can confront the comfortable prejudices and ignorance that abounds (Zacharias). Beatty is the chief at the firehouse. Fahrenheit 451 describes a country caught in the grip of both an external war with another power, and a civil war between city dwellers and ragtag anarchists (McNamee). The main character in the book is Guy Montag. His job is to be a fireman, and he has to burn books as they are discovered hidden in people’s homes (Zacharias). It is a crime to own books in this community. The government uses fire departments to enforce this ban (Lenhoff). The firemen in this futuristic society aren’t the same as ours today; instead of putting out fires, they set books on fire. All of the buildings are “fireproofed”; the structure itself can’t catch on fire but the contents of the house, including books, will all burn. No one in the community has ever really questioned about why they can’t read books, and why they are burned until Montag met Clarisse. She is the one who introduced Montag to the world’s potential for beauty and meaning (Sparknotes Editors) and makes him begin to doubt his society’s high-speed, hedonistic way of life (Greenberg). Clarisse is an imaginative young girl who tells Montag about books and history (Bradbury). Her thinking and questioning is a threat to the state (Kerner). Clarisse is the catalyst through which Guy begins to evaluate his life and career, and finally the society he supports (Kerner). Clarisse shares her values...
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