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rockfan's avatar

Why is Fahrenheit 451 regarded as such a classic novel?

Asked by rockfan (2990 points ) April 9th, 2014

I read it last week and was unimpressed. I thought the first quarter of the book was interesting, especially with the character of Clarisse, but then the extremely awkward sentence structures become more prevalant, and the satire becomes really convoluted and transparent in my opinion. Your thoughts?

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7 Answers

Kropotkin's avatar

I don’t know, but I’ve not even read the first 450 yet!

Cruiser's avatar

You almost have to put yourself in the mindset of the late 50’s early 60’s cold war mentality when the book was written and the book burning episodes of WWII were still fresh in peoples minds. The visualizations laid out in the book played on these vulnerabilities people felt in those days and with the nuclear holocaust ending is why the book garnered block buster status.

Pachy's avatar

Prophetic, beautifully written by a great and prolific author, and a terrific read (also a pretty good movie). What more do you need to be classical!

rockfan's avatar

@Pachy I think the way Bradbury repeats certain phrases over and over is so irritating and ruins the flow of the novel. And I thought Mildred and Beatty were painfully stock characters. But maybe that was the point?

rockfan's avatar

@Cruiser I definitely agree that the story was great

elbanditoroso's avatar

You have to look at it in the big picture – it was one of the earlier books that got into the mechanics of a totalitarian future government that wanted to control minds and actions, specifically by controlling what people could read and do.

In that respect, it was very similar to 1984, in that government control was asserted to the rewriting of history and the control of what people knew.

The interesting thing in these days – 50 years later – is how the concept of control of what people can read and think about happens regularly in Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries around the world, and the ability to censor things because of what is written is being attempted daily in the US by the radical right.

rockfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso I agree with everything you said, I guess I just can’t get over the fact of how much I disliked the execution of it.

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