Boekverslag : Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
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Fahrenheit 451


Ray Bradbury

First publication

1954 in Great Britain




The action takes place in the USA. It isn't clear if the USA is still called that way.


Most of the action takes place in the city. At the end of the book takes the action place in a forest on the country.

Title explanation

Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature, where books start to burn by them- selves. 451 is coincidentally also the number of the firehelmet of Montag. Fahrenheit 451 is the title of the book, because the whole book is about burning books. Books aren't allowed in this futuristic world. Books lead to unhappiness and happiness is the most important thing in the lives of the people.

Main character

Guy Montag is the main character of this book. Montag is a fireman. The task of his force is to burn the houses (with the books) of people, who have books. He's not like everyone else. Because it's not normal to think in those days which in the beginning he rather follows that stereotype by not really think about things. But near the end he starts to think more and more. He thinks he loves his wife, Mildred, but when he really starts to think about it, he finds out that he actually doesn't love her. At the end it becomes clear that he wouldn't feel sad, when she where dead.

Other characters:

Mildred Montag: is a typical citizen of the New World. Her life is all about being happy. Her family is her whole life. She doesn't really love Montag, but she doesn't think about it. When their house has burnt down and Montag is about to be arrested by Beatty, she just drives away to a hotel. She doesn't care, what's going to happen to Montag.

Captain Beatty: is just like Guy Montag a fireman. He's Montag's boss. In the beginning he seems to be a nice guy and it seems to want to be Montag's friend. But later on in the book it becomes clear that he really believes in where he stands for. He is a real mean guy, when for example he commanded Montag to burn his own house.

Professor Faber: is an old man, who taught at a university a long time ago, when there still were universities. He still has books, although it is forbidden. Montag still remembers him from a time ago, when Montag met him in the park. He's not a hero, but he's a real friend of Montag and helps him a lot.

Clarisse: is a young girl in the age of 15. She's just like Montag is, or should be. She also likes to think. She also wants to know why thinks happen or why things are, they way they are. She helps Montag to open his eyes.


One evening when Montag walks home after a heavy day of burning books. He has the feeling someone is following him. He had been having this feeling for sometime now, until that evening, that is when his feeling became true. A girl follows him. Her name is Clarisse. They start to talk and after a while they start to like each other more and more. They meet up every night when Montag comes home from work and talk. But to Montag's surprise one day she is gone. Her whole family is gone. Montag thinks she's dead. One day his taskforce burns a house of an old woman, just because she has a library. The woman died in that fire. Montag can't keep the thought of the dying old lady out of his head. Because of this incident, he remembers that he has hidden some books in his house. When he decides to look at these books, he takes a day off to see what books really mean and are. He then starts getting thoughts about quitting the firebrigade. Montag says he sick. But Capt. Beatty knows what this is all about and comes to visits Montag. He doesn't actually see the books, but he knows Montag has one or two hidden somewhere. He tries to cheer up Montag and tells that every fireman has to go through this period. Montag knows that Beatty knows that he has a couple of books. Than he remembers his old professor, Prof. Faber. So he decides to go to Prof. Faber and asks him to teach him in understanding books and their contents. He agrees to help Montag. They both agree on arranging more books, so they can hide them in the houses of firemen al over the country. They would in turn, turn these firemen in, so their houses would be burned, as an act of revenge of some. A revenge for burning all this books. Faber also gives him some kind of microphone, which Montag has to put in his ear. This way they can communicate, when they are not together. Later that night he goes to the firedepartment to turn in the books. Beatty pretends that's enough. But at the end of the night there comes an alarm. With the firetruck, they drive to Montag's house. Beatty commands Montag to burn his own house. After he burned his own house, Montag feels pretty good. A the moment that Beatty wants to arrest Montag, he finds the microphone, so he knows there is another person is involved. Montag freaks and kills Beatty by burning him to death. He runs away after picking up the books that he didn't burn. In the meanwhile the police had arrived and started to hunt him down with a metal dog. He runs to Faber's house, where he changes clothes. When he ran to Faber's house he hid the books that he had kept with him in a firemen's house and turned the guy in. The firebrigade came and burned the house. Montag's battle against the firemen has begun. Then Montag runs from Faber's house to the river and dives in it, so the dog couldn't track him down. A couple miles down the stream he came out the river into the forest. There he finds a group of people, who are just like him. People whom like books. There he finds out, that the books aren't lost. People still keep them in their heads. And when the time's ripe they will write down the books again.
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