Fahrenheit 451

Would would the world be like without books? Ray Bradbury tackles that question—and many more— in Fahrenheit 451. Go ahead; read it on your Kindle.

American LiteratureAll American Literature
AuthorBradbury - Ray Bradbury
Early 20th-Century LiteratureEarly 20th-Century American Literature
FormNovel
LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureAmerican Literature
ThemesDissatisfaction
Identity
Literature and Writing
Man and the Natural World
Rules and Order
Technology and Modernization
Violence
Wisdom and Knowledge

Transcript

00:14

But I used to be a fireman. [Montag as a fireman]

00:16

And as a fireman, I took a solemn oath to uphold the universal book ban.

00:21

Translation?

00:22

I burned books.

00:23

So why am I here and not torching copies of Shakespeare?

00:27

Well, that's quite a story…and one that I don't intend to burn.

00:30

A while back, we received several complaints about contraband in the neighborhood. [Dog walks by a fireman]

00:34

We conducted a raid, and you wouldn't believe the stash we uncovered.

00:38

Seriously, this lady had 'quite a collection the type of books you don't burn everyday.

00:42

And sure maybe i pocketed one but, it was just one.. no big deal right?

00:47

…448, 449, 450… that's the sweet, book-burning temperature, for those of you who don't know. [Firemen collecting books]

00:54

Anyway, we're about to torch this lady's house, when we realize we have a small problem…

01:00

She won't leave.

01:01

She struck a match and did our job for us.. well before we knew what was happening.. the whole thing went up in flames [Woman lights a match]

01:10

I always enjoyed burning books, but after that?

01:13

Well, I wasn't feeling so hot.

01:15

…Pun mildly intended.

01:16

On my way home, I ran into my neighbor, Clarisse. [Montag bumps into Clarisse]

01:19

She put me on the hot seat about being a fireman.

01:22

She asked me if firemen used to put out fires and help people.

01:26

Then she asked me if I ever read the books before I burned them.

01:30

And finally, she asked me something I had never before considered: was I happy? [Clarisse asks Montag if he's happy]

01:35

Well….was I?

01:37

It got me thinking.

01:38

And pretty soon, I was thinking that maybe… it was time to close the book on my firefighting [Montag places helmet in trash]

01:43

career.

01:44

so I visited this guy named

01:47

Dr. Farber.

01:48

He was an English professor, way back when. [Dr Farber teaching English]

01:50

Surprisingly enough, he hadn't worked in years.

01:53

Dr. Farber warned me that a great war was brewing against rogue thinkers.

01:57

And when i later learned that Clarisse had been hit and killed by a car [Clarisse hit by car]

02:02

I started to think…maybe this wasn't the kind of world I wanted to

02:06

live in anymore.

02:08

Clarisse was right.

02:09

Our humanity was going down the tubes, and I was starting to notice. [Montag burning with books]

02:13

There were problems at home…

02:15

…and at work.

02:16

…And Captain Beatty was starting to read between the lines.

02:20

He caught me with a book, but I played cool and insisted it wasn't mine. [Captain Beatty snatches book from Montag]

02:24

I thought everything would be okay.

02:25

And I kept thinking that….right up until the fire truck stopped in front of my house.

02:31

But the funniest thing happened: I didn’t care anymore.

02:34

So what if my own wife called in the alarm? [Montag's wife and Captain Beatty stood outside house]

02:37

And so what if I had books?

02:39

I was seeing things in a whole new light.

02:41

And Captain Beatty?

02:43

Well…he won't be seeing much of anything anymore. [Montag sprays Beatty with a hose]

02:45

I knew I had to skip town, and fast.

02:48

People don’t take too kindly to burning your superiors alive.

02:51

So I ran, and I didn't stop running until I found these guys. [Montag running in a forest]

02:55

They're a bunch of intellectuals, lead by this man.

02:58

Goes by the name of "Granger."

03:00

Did I feel out of my league?

03:01

Sure.

03:02

These were people who had memorized classic literature.

03:05

I’ve only memorized a part of The Book of Ecclesiastes.

03:09

But…we all gotta start somewhere, right?

03:11

And now that the city's been bombed and everyone I knew is probably gone…well…somebody's [City bombed by plane flying above]

03:16

gotta be around to rebuild society

03:19

Why not me?