Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury

The rapid pace of life in F451 deteriorates society's ability to truly think.

Kevin Yuan and Katy Yut

"You think too many things" (Bradbury 9).

"I always like to drive fast. You get it up around ninety-five and you feel wonderful. Sometimes I drive all night and come back and you don't know it. It's fun out in the country. You hit rabbits, sometimes you hit dogs. Go take the beetle" (Bradbury 64).

  • Always going fast
  • No time to stop and think about actions

"Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last" (Bradbury 9).

  • Shows the transformation from our society to theirs
  • The pace of life is so much faster

"A great thunderstorm of sound gushed from the walls. Music bombarded him at such an immense volume that his bones were almost shaken from their tendons; he felt his jaw vibrate, his eyes wobble in his head. He was a victim of concussion. When it was all over he felt like a man who had been thrown from a cliff, whirled in a centrifuge, and spat out over a waterfall that fell and fell into emptiness and emptiness and never-- quite--touched--bottom--never--never--quite--no not quite--touched bottom... and you fell so fast you didn't touch the sides either... never... quite... touched... anything" (Bradbury 45).

  • Describes his experience with the parlor walls
  • The technology is designed to distract and speed through life

"'Mildred, do you know that girl I was telling you about? The girl next door. Clarisse, her name is. I haven't seen her for a few days. Have you seen her?'

'I meant to tell you. Forgot. Forgot.'

'Tell me now. What is it?'

'I think she's gone. [G]one for good. I think she's dead. Four days ago. I'm not sure. But I think she's dead. I don't know. But I think she's dead.'

'You're not sure of it! Why didn't you tell me sooner?'

'Forgot. I forgot all about it'" (Bradbury 47).

  • People are empty shells that have lost the ability to think
  • A mere four days have passed yet she forgot to mention that her neighbor died

"[T]he sun goes on, day after day, burning and burning. The sun and time. The sun and time and burning. Burning. The sun and every clock on the earth. The sun burnt every day. It burnt Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burnt!" (Bradbury 141).

  • Summarizes the theme concisely
  • Their society and the life they live in a nutshell

Discussion Questions:

Why are the tv walls so unbearably enthralling to society?

Why is death so casual?

Why do the people feel so nonchalant and unbothered by war?

Is society better off in this fast-paced lifestyle where both the joys and sorrows are insignificant?

Do improvements in technology lead to a disinterest in books?

"How do you get so empty?" (Bradbury 44)