"It was a pleasure to burn."F 451 centers on Guy Montag, a fireman in The Future. As a fireman, it is his job to douse houses concealing books in kerosene and burn them to the ground. Burn them to ashes , then burn the ashes, that's their slogan. He's never questioned his comitmient to the firemen in all his years of blissful burning until, one day, he meets a most peculiar girl. Clarisse is unlike any person he's ever met because she looks at him like he matters and asks questions about everything and actually thinks about her answers. She opens his eyes to the world, and what he sees is his wife sitting in the "parlor" watching the "family" all day at which point he realizes that he doesn't even know her anymore, if he ever did know her; the world heading toward war, and most people not even caring; a complete lack of respect for life on the most basic level; basically, a world that's gone morally bankrupt. And how did this happen? It didn't used to be like this, or so he's heard. Children didn't used to kill each other. People used to sit in silence or talk about things, not hide indoors and assault theirs senses with mindeless TV. What's changed to make people into pleasure seekers with no conscience or morality? Answer: A lack of books.
Due to a self-imposed censorship, the world has fallen into a hateful, mindless stupor. And where did this all start? Why, with the minorities! Every group finding some fault with a book would take that passage and tear it out until, finally, there was nothing left! Sounds familiar, no?
Censorship is this books main theme, and Bradbury preaches it's dangers in elequent and passionate form. He refers to poetry and the Bible and his favorite writers for quotes. One that's stuck with me particurlarly is an exerpt from Dover Beach;
"Ah, love, let us be trueNever have I encountered someone with such a passion for books for what they are at their very core, fragrant stacks of paper filled with the marvelous thoughts of strangers, as Mr. Bradbury.
To each other! for the world which seems
So various, so beautuful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, now light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Due to his innate love of every book for it's merit, I feel it would be wrong for me assign a rating to his work. Suffice it to say that it was a wonderful book well worth reading and pondering.