HBO's Heavy-Handed 'Fahrenheit ' Lacks The Poetry Of Ray Bradbury's Original | WYPR
Fahrenheit Captain Beatty Quotes (). Beatty misses the point. The existence of people like Clarisse McClellan – or even like Guy Montag – makes. The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman, who goes through a Contrast Between Relationships with Montag – Meaningful and Shallow Relationships. .. Montag's boss, Captain Beatty, reveals that they have a record on Clarisse and her. The Fahrenheit study guide contains a biography of Ray Br Despite the constant bullying of his boss, Chief Beatty, Montag turns to.
The woman stubbornly refuses to leave her home; instead, she chooses to burn with her books. The second incident, which occurs later the same evening, is when Millie tells Montag that the McClellans have moved away because Clarisse died in an automobile accident — she was "run over by a car.
Montag decides to talk with Millie about his dissatisfaction with his job as a fireman and about the intrinsic values that a person can obtain from books. Suddenly, he sees that Millie is incapable of understanding what he means.
All she knows is that books are unlawful and that anyone who breaks the law must be punished. Fearing for her own safety, Millie declares that she is innocent of any wrongdoing, and she says that Montag must leave her alone. After this confrontation with Millie, Montag entertains the idea of quitting his job, but instead, he decides to feign illness and goes to bed.
When Captain Beatty, who is already suspicious of Montag's recent behavior, finds that Montag hasn't come to work, he makes a sick call to Montag's home. Beatty gives Montag a pep talk, explaining to him that every fireman sooner or later goes through a period of intellectual curiosity and steals a book. Beatty seems to know, miraculously, that Montag stole a book — or books. Beatty emphatically stresses that books contain nothing believable.
He attempts to convince Montag that they are merely stories — fictitious lies — about nonexistent people. He tells Montag that because each person is angered by at least some kind of literature, the simplest solution is to get rid of all books. Ridding the world of controversy puts an end to dispute and allows people to "stay happy all the time. Ridding the world of all controversial books and ideas makes all men equal — each man is the image of other men.
He concludes his lecture by assuring Montag that the book-burning profession is an honorable one and instructs Montag to return to work that evening.
Immediately following Beatty's visit, Montag confesses to Mildred that, although he can't explain why, he has stolen, not just one book, but a small library of books for himself during the past year the total is nearly 20 books, one of which is a Bible.
He then begins to reveal his library, which he's hidden in the air-conditioning system. When Millie sees Montag's cache of books, she panics. Montag tries to convince her that their lives are already in such a state of disrepair that an investigation of books may be beneficial. What neither of them know is that the Mechanical Hound probably sent by Captain Beatty is already on Montag's trail, seemingly knowing Montag's mind better than Montag himself.
Analysis Fahrenheit is currently Bradbury's most famous written work of social criticism. It deals with serious problems of control of the masses by the media, the banning of books, and the suppression of the mind with censorship. The novel examines a few pivotal days of a man's life, a man who is a burner of books and, therefore, an instrument of suppression.
This man Montag lives in a world where the past has been destroyed by kerosene-spewing hoses and government brainwashing methods. In a few short days, this man is transformed from a narrow-minded and prejudiced conformist into a dynamic individual committed to social change and to a life of saving books rather than destroying them.
Before you begin the novel, note the significance of the title, degrees Fahrenheit, "the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns.
HBO's Heavy-Handed 'Fahrenheit 451' Lacks The Poetry Of Ray Bradbury's Original
The implications of both concepts — one, a simple fact, and the other, a challenge to authority — gain immense significance by the conclusion of the book.
In the first part of FahrenheitBradbury uses machine imagery to construct the setting and environment of the book. He introduces Guy Montag, a pyromaniac who took "special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. Montag has a smile permanently etched on his face; he does not think of the present, the past, or the future. According to his government's views, the only emotion Montag should feel, besides destructive fury, is happiness.
He views himself in the mirror after a night of burning and finds himself grinning, and he thinks that all firemen must look like white men masquerading as minstrels, grinning behind their "burnt-corked" masks. Later, as Montag goes to sleep, he realizes that his smile still grips his face muscles, even in the dark. The language — "fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles" — suggests that his smile is artificial and forced. Soon he will understand that this small bit of truth is an immense truth for himself.
At present, Montag seems to enjoy his job as a fireman. He is a "smiling fireman. Montag smiles, but he is not happy.
The smile, just like his "burnt-corked" face, is a mask. You discover almost immediately when Montag meets Clarisse McClellan that he is not happy.
By comparing and contrasting the two characters, you can see that Bradbury portrays Clarisse as spontaneous and naturally curious; Montag is insincere and jaded. Clarisse has no rigid daily schedule: Montag is a creature of habit. She speaks to him of the beauties of life, the man in the moon, the early morning dew, and the enjoyment she receives from smelling and looking at things. Montag, however, has never concerned himself with such "insignificant" matters.
Clarisse lives with her mother, father, and uncle; Montag has no family other than his wife, and as you soon discover, his home life is unhappy. Clarisse accepts Montag for what he is; Montag finds Clarisse's peculiarities that is, her individuality slightly annoying. Despite all these differences, the two are attracted to one another. Clarisse's vivacity is infectious, and Montag finds her unusual perspectives about life intriguing.
Indeed, she is partly responsible for Montag's change in attitude. She makes Montag think of things that he has never thought of before, and she forces him to consider ideas that he has never contemplated.
Moreover, Montag seems to find something in Clarisse that is a long-repressed part of himself: Impossible; for how many people did you know who refracted your own light to you? She speaks to him about her delight in letting the rain fall upon her face and into her mouth.
Later, Montag, too, turns his head upward into the early November rain in order to catch a mouthful of the cool liquid. In effect, Clarisse, in a very few meetings, exerts a powerful influence on Montag, and he is never able to find happiness in his former life again. Yet, if the water imagery of this early scene implies rebirth or regeneration, this imagery is also associated with the artificiality of the peoples' lives in the futuristic dystopia of Fahrenheit Each night before she goes to bed, Mildred places small, Seashell Radios into her ears, and the music whisks her away from the dreariness of her everyday reality.
As Montag lies in bed, the room seems empty because the waves of sound "came in and bore her [Mildred] off on their great tides of sound, floating her, wide-eyed, toward morning.
She has abandoned reality through her use of these tiny technological wonders that instill mindlessness. The Seashell Radios serve as an escape for Millie because they help her avoid thoughts.
Although she would never — or could never — admit it, Millie Montag isn't happy either. Her need for the Seashell Radios in order to sleep is insignificant when measured against her addiction to tranquilizers and sleeping pills.
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When Millie overdoses on sleeping pills which Bradbury never fully explains as accidental or suicidalshe is saved by a machine and two machinelike men who don't care whether she lives or dies. This machine, which pumps out a person's stomach and replaces blood with a fresh supply, is used to foil up to ten unexplainable suicide attempts a night — a machine that is very telling of the social climate.
Montag comes to realize that their inability to discuss the suicide attempt suggests the profound estrangement that exists between them. He discovers that their marriage is in shambles.
Neither he nor Millie can remember anything about their past together, and Millie is more interested in her three-wall television family.
The TV is another means that Mildred uses to escape reality and, perhaps, her unhappiness with life and with Montag. She neglects Montag and lavishes her attention instead upon her television relatives. The television family that never says or does anything significant, the high-speed abandon with which she drives their car, and even the overdose of sleeping pills are all indicators for Montag that their life together is meaningless.
For Montag, these discoveries are difficult to express; he is only dimly cognizant of his unhappiness — and Millie's — when he has the first incident with the Mechanical Hound. In some sense, the Hound's distrust of Montag — its growl — is a barometer of Montag's growing unhappiness.
Captain Beatty intuitively senses Montag's growing discontent with his life and job. Beatty is an intelligent but ultimately cynical man. He is, paradoxically, well-read and is even willing to allow Montag to have some slight curiosity about what the books contain.
However, Beatty, as a defender of the state one who has compromised his morality for social stabilitybelieves that all intellectual curiosity and hunger for knowledge must be quelled for the good of the state — for conformity. He even allows for the perversion of history as it appears in Firemen of America: When the curiosity for books begins to affect an individual's conduct and a person's ability to conform — as it does Montag's — the curiosity must be severely punished.
When Montag is called to an unidentified woman's house "in the ancient part of the city," he is amazed to find that the woman will not abandon her home or her books. The woman is clearly a martyr, and her martyrdom profoundly affects Montag.
Before she is burned, the woman makes a strange yet significant statement: He was convicted of heresy and sentenced to burn at the stake with a fellow heretic, Hugh Latimer.
Latimer's words to Ridley are the ones that the unidentified woman alludes to before she is set aflame.
Fahrenheit Summary & Analysis Part 1 | Test Prep | Study Guide | CliffsNotes
Note that a couple visual metaphors for knowledge were traditionally of a woman, sometimes bathed in bright light or holding a burning torch. Ironically, the woman's words are prophetic; through her own death by fire, Montag's discontent drives him to an investigation of what books really are, what they contain, and what fulfillment they offer. Montag is unable to understand the change that is taking place within him.
With a sickening awareness, he realizes that "[a]lways at night the alarm comes. She is addicted to sleeping pills, absorbed in the shallow dramas played on her "parlor walls" flat-panel televisionsand indifferent to the oppressive society around her.
She is described in the book as "thin as a praying mantis from dieting, her hair burnt by chemicals to a brittle straw, and her flesh like white bacon. After Montag scares her friends away by reading Dover Beach, and finding herself unable to live with someone who has been hoarding books, Mildred betrays Montag by reporting him to the firemen and abandoning him, and dies when the city is bombed.
Captain Beatty is Montag's boss and the book's main antagonist.
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Once an avid reader, he has come to hate books due to their unpleasant content and contradicting facts and opinions. After attempting to force Montag to burn his house, Montag kills him with a flamethrower, only to later realize that Beatty had given him the flamethrower and goaded him on purpose so that Montag would kill him.
However, it is still unclear whether or not Beatty was ever on Montag's side, or if he was just suicidal. In a scene written years later by Bradbury for the Fahrenheit play, Beatty invites Montag to his house where he shows him walls of books left to molder on their shelves.
Stoneman and Black are Montag's coworkers at the firehouse. They do not have a large impact on the story and function only to show the reader the contrast between the firemen who obediently do as they are told and someone like Montag, who formerly took pride in his job but subsequently realizes how damaging it is to society.
Black is later framed by Montag for possessing books. Faber is a former English professor. He has spent years regretting that he did not defend books when he saw the moves to ban them. Montag turns to him for guidance, remembering him from a chance meeting in a park sometime earlier.
Faber at first refuses to help Montag, and later realizes Montag is only trying to learn about books, not destroy them. He secretly communicates with Montag through an electronic ear-piece and helps Montag escape the city, then gets on a bus to St. Louis and escapes the city himself before it is bombed.
Bradbury notes in his afterword that Faber is part of the name of a German manufacturer of pencils, Faber-Castell. Ann Bowles and Mrs. Clara Phelps are Mildred's friends and representative of the anti-intellectual, hedonistic mainstream society presented in the novel. During a social visit to Montag's house, they brag about ignoring the bad things in their lives and have a cavalier attitude towards the upcoming war, their husbands, their children, and politics.
Phelps' husband Pete was called in to fight in the upcoming war and believes that he'll be back in a week because of how quick the war will be and thinks having children serves no purpose other than to ruin lives. Bowles is a thrice-married single mother.
Her first husband divorced her, her second died in a jet accident, and her third committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. She has two children who do not like or respect her due to her permissive, often negligent and abusive parenting; Mrs. Bowles brags that her kids beat her up, and she's glad she can hit back. When Montag reads Dover Beach to them, he strikes a chord in Mrs.
Phelps, who starts crying over how hollow her life is. Bowles chastises Montag for reading "silly awful hurting words". Granger is the leader of a group of wandering intellectual exiles who memorize books in order to preserve their contents. Title[ edit ] The title page of the book explains the title as follows: Fahrenheit —The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns After graduating from high school, Bradbury's family could not afford for him to attend college so Bradbury began spending time at the Los Angeles Public Library where he essentially educated himself.
Wellsbecause, at the time, they were not deemed literary enough. Between this and learning about the destruction of the Library of Alexandria a great impression was made on the young man about the vulnerability of books to censure and destruction. Later, as a teenager, Bradbury was horrified by the Nazi book burnings  and later by Joseph Stalin 's campaign of political repression, the " Great Purge ", in which writers and poets, among many others, were arrested and often executed.
Shortly after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the conclusion of World War IIthe United States focused its concern on the Soviet atomic bomb project and the expansion of communism. The House Un-American Activities Committee HUACformed in to investigate American citizens and organizations suspected of having communist ties, held hearings in to investigate alleged communist influence in Hollywood movie-making.
These hearings resulted in the blacklisting of the so-called " Hollywood Ten ",  a group of influential screenwriters and directors. This governmental interference in the affairs of artists and creative types greatly angered Bradbury.
The rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy 's hearings hostile to accused communistsbeginning indeepened Bradbury's contempt for government overreach. By aboutthe Cold War was in full swing, and the American public's fear of nuclear warfare and communist influence was at a feverish level.
The stage was set for Bradbury to write the dramatic nuclear holocaust ending of Fahrenheitexemplifying the type of scenario feared by many Americans of the time.
Bradbury saw these forms of media as a threat to the reading of books, indeed as a threat to society, as he believed they could act as a distraction from important affairs.
This contempt for mass media and technology would express itself through Mildred and her friends and is an important theme in the book. For many years, he tended to single out "The Pedestrian" in interviews and lectures as sort of a proto-Fahrenheit In the Preface of his anthology Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit he states that this is an oversimplification.
The following covers the most salient aspects. In late Bradbury was stopped and questioned by a police officer while walking late one night. Alone and without an alibiMead is taken to the "Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies" for his peculiar habit. Fahrenheit would later echo this theme of an authoritarian society distracted by broadcast media.
Publication history[ edit ] The first U. Shortly after the paperback, a hardback version was released that included a special edition of signed and numbered copies bound in asbestos. Bradbury demanded that Ballantine Books withdraw that version and replace it with the original, and in the original version once again became available. In this reinstated work, in the Author's Afterword, Bradbury relates to the reader that it is not uncommon for a publisher to expurgate an author's work, but he asserts that he himself will not tolerate the practice of manuscript "mutilation".
Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas were less enthusiastic, faulting the book for being "simply padded, occasionally with startlingly ingenious gimmickry, Schuyler Miller characterized the title piece as "one of Bradbury's bitter, almost hysterical diatribes," while praising its "emotional drive and compelling, nagging detail.
The following are some notable incidents: InFahrenheit was given "third tier" status by the Bay County School Board in Panama CityFlorida under then-superintendent Leonard Hall's new three-tier classification system. In addition, the parents protested the violence, portrayal of Christians, and depictions of firemen in the novel. Indeed, when Bradbury wrote the novel during the McCarthy erahe was concerned about censorship in the United States.
During a radio interview in  Bradbury said: I wrote this book at a time when I was worried about the way things were going in this country four years ago. Too many people were afraid of their shadows; there was a threat of book burning.
Many of the books were being taken off the shelves at that time. And of course, things have changed a lot in four years. Things are going back in a very healthy direction.
- Fahrenheit 451 Quotes
- Fahrenheit 451
But at the time I wanted to do some sort of story where I could comment on what would happen to a country if we let ourselves go too far in this direction, where then all thinking stops, and the dragon swallows his tail, and we sort of vanish into a limbo and we destroy ourselves by this sort of action. As time went by, Bradbury tended to dismiss censorship as a chief motivating factor for writing the story.
Instead he usually claimed that the real messages of Fahrenheit were about the dangers of an illiterate society infatuated with mass media and the threat of minority and special interest groups to books. In the late s, Bradbury recounted: In writing the short novel FahrenheitI thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades.
But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering.
From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there.
This was not fiction. In a interview, Bradbury maintained that people misinterpret his book and that Fahrenheit is really a statement on how mass media like television marginalizes the reading of literature. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Students, reading the novel, which, after all, deals with censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony.
Judy-Lynn del Reyone of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place. According to Bradbury, it is the people, not the state, who are the culprit in Fahrenheit Two major themes are resistance to conformity and control of individuals via technology and mass media. Bradbury explores how the government is able to use mass media to influence society and suppress individualism through book burning.
The characters Beatty and Faber point out that the American population is to blame. Due to their constant desire for a simplistic, positive image, books must be suppressed.
Beatty blames the minority groups, who would take offense to published works that displayed them in an unfavorable light. Faber went further to state that the American population simply stopped reading on their own.
He notes that the book burnings themselves became a form of entertainment for the general public.