Fahrenheit 451


History of Fahrenheit 451

The story of the book was equally inspirational. Bradbury describes, in his inimitable prose, the challenges that accompanied the writing of this book. From the outset, he had made a commitment to bind himself to his writing, and his doing so at home was distracting him. Unfortunately, he could not afford an office. Finally, Bradbury located a typing room in the basement of the library at the University of California where:

In neat rows were a score of old Remington or Underwood typewriters which rented out at dime a half hour. You thrust your dime in, the clock ticked madly, and you typed wildly, to finish before the half-hour ran out. Thus I was twice driven; by children to leave home, and by a typewriter timing device to be a maniac at the keys. Time was indeed moneyā€¯ (p.168).

The book was completed in nine days. It ran to 25,000 words and was later extended to a total of 50,000, at a total cost of $9.40. It has gone through various editions and reprintings since.

In Bradbury's adaptation at the Studio Theater Playhouse, he had Beatty explain his obsession for book burning by introducing Montag to his apartment. There, Montag is astonished to discover shelves full of books lining the walls of Chief Fireman's hidden library. Beatty had accumulated them to gaze at, so that, withstanding their enticement, he refrained from reading them. Beatty had once loved books, but life had treated him roughly, and, opening his books for solace, he had found them unable to help him. From that moment on, as Chief Fireman of his Civilization, Beatty had begun his library burnings.

In the Theater, too, Bradbury had slightly revised Faber's role, giving him a more grotesque end. Beatty, using Faber's ear device, had tracked Faber down and had so frightened the man that Faber died of a heart attack.

Clarissa, however, experienced a happier ending than she did in the book. Similar to Francois Truffault's film version of the novel, Clarissa is saved from oblivion and meets Montag in the forest,...

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