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.

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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).

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.

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