Ray Bradbury

Author of Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He didn't have enough money for college, so he went to libraries to learn instead. Libraries and books have influenced his works like Fahrenheit 451. He made his own magazine, Futuria Fantasia, in which he wrote every article under multiple pen-names. Soon after he began selling his short stories to various pulp magazines. In 1950, he published his first major work, The Martin Chronicles. It lead to many more people learning about him. Then in 1953, he published Fahrenheit 451 which was an instant success. It was written during the McCarthy era, when book burning seemed viable. After this, he went on to publish other classics such as The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked this Way Comes. He died June 5th, 2012.

Other works of Bradbury with dates published

(1947) Dark Carnival

(1951) The Illustrated Man

(1953) The Golden Apples of the Sun

(1959) The Day It Rained Forever

(1964) The Machineries of Joy

(1969) I Sing The Body Electric

(1976) Long After Midnight

(1979) The Fog Horn & Other Stories

(1980) One Timeless Spring

(1980) The Last Circus and the Electrocution

(1980) The Stories of Ray Bradbury

(1981) The Fog Horn and Other Stories

(1983) Dinosaur Tales

(1984) A Memory of Murder

(1997) Driving Blind

(2001) Ray Bradbury Collected Short Stories

(2001) The Playground


Bradbury, R. (1971). Fahrenheit 451. Spektrum.

Ray Bradbury. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.biography.com/people/ray-bradbury-9223240

Morgan, John. "John Morgan, "Ray Bradbury, R.I.P." | Counter-Currents Publishing." CounterCurrents Publishing Ray Bradbury RIP Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.


Exposition: In this dystopian, sci-fi, thriller set in the 24th century, the world has turned away from books and to television instead. Firemen, now that almost everything is fireproof and there are no fires to fight, have started burning books.

Turning Point: Guy Montag, a passionate fireman who has only read comic books as a kid meets Clairesse McClellan, a "crazy" person who is inquisitive and filled with child-like wonder. She is unlike anyone Montag has ever met. Clairesse starts to make Montag question ordinary things that he has just taken granted. Montag's senses start to awaken the night he encounters Clairesse but only to find out that his wife, Millie, has tried to commit suicide. Montag starts to question his relationship with his wife leading him to the realization that he doesn't love her.

Rising Action: Clairesse is killed by a speeding car as Montag starts questioning his society which leads him to start reading books he had hidden in his house.

Wondering why Montag hasn't been at work for two days Montag's fire chief, Beatty, comes to his house. He sees that Montag has started reading a book and explains to him the history of what happened to books. They were felt to offend minorities and special interest groups. The writing became more and more bland and mundane in an effort not to offend anybody. Eventually they just weren't worth reading.

One of the first books that Montag starts to read is the bible but he is overwhelmed with all of the information in it. He turns to Faber, a former English professor for help in interpreting the books. Faber explains how times have so dramatically changed. He shares with Montag why quality books were so important to society. It was not the actual books but the ideas that they contained. Montag and Faber concoct a plan to get a printer and begin printing books. Then, Montag will plant them in the house of fireman to discredit them and destroy the censorship.

The county that Montag lives in is at war. One day he returns home to find his wife, Milie there with her friends discussing the war and politics in an annoying way. Montag grabs a poetry book and starts reading it to the women . Millie's friends are disgusted and immediately leave to file a complaint against Montag.

Montag goes to the fire department and burns the poetry book to cover up the fact he still has books. Suddenly the alarm goes off and the firemen rush to the scene which happens to be Montag's apartment. Montag realizes Millie betrayed him.

Climax: Beatty force Montag to burn his house and then tries to put him in handcuffs. Montag turns the flamethrower on Beatty instead and kills him. Montag knocks the other fireman unconscious and proceeds to get as many books as he can. The "mechanical hound" a monstrous machine made by the government to track people on the run, injects Montag's leg with some anesthetic but not enough to paralyze him. Montag then proceeds to Faber's house where he finds out a new hound has been sent after him. Faber gives Montag some old clothes and tells him to head to the river and float down. At the bend in the river he will be met by a group of book lovers. Montag runs to the river with the hound on his tail but he gets away.

Falling Action: Montag then floats down the river until he sees a fire and a group of people on a the bank . They tell him they are the Book People and they're stationed all around and that they memorize books one day hoping to write them down again.

Resolution: Far down the river, Montag looks back at his old city and sees an atomic bomb being dropped. This destruction symbolizes a new start for the world and for Montag.

My Review of Fahrenheit 451

I think Bradbury has amazing skills of figurative language "With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world" -Fahrenheit 451. The theme still rings true to this day as well. To turn and ban books is to turn and ban knowledge and learning.

My Impression of Ray Bradbury

I feel that Ray Bradbury is one of the greatest writers of all time. His stories always captivate me from the first page."It was a pleasure to burn"- Fahrenheit 451