Fahrenheit 451 pdf, Summary, Themes, Quotes, Movie Sparknotes, Characters

Fahrenheit 451 pdf by Ray Bradbury is a 1953 dystopian novel by American writer Ray Bradbury. Often regarded as one of his best works, the novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. The book’s tagline explains the title as “the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns”: the autoignition temperature of paper. The lead character, Guy Montag, is a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role of censoring literature and destroying knowledge, eventually quitting his job and committing himself to the preservation of literary and cultural writings. People have used this novel to focus on the historical role of book burning. In a 1956 radio interview, Bradbury said that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he described the book as a commentary on how mass media reduces interest in reading literature. In 1954, Fahrenheit 451 won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal. It later won the Prometheus “Hall of Fame” Award in 1984 and a “Retro” Hugo Award in 2004. Bradbury was honoured with a Spoken Word Grammy nomination for his 1976 audiobook version.  In this article, you will be able to download Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury pdf as well as do the following:

  • Get a summary of Fahrenheit 451 pdf by Ray Bradbury
  • Learn more about the author – Ray Bradbury
  • Learn vital information about the book
  • Major characters in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Some themes explored in the book
  • Where to buy Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury online
  • Read reviews about the book
  • Download Fahrenheit 451 pdf by Ray Bradbury
  • Watch video review of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
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Summary of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is set in an unspecified city in the year 2049 (according to Ray Bradbury’s Coda), though it is written as if set in a distant future. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.Guy Montag is a fireman employed to burn outlawed books, along with the houses they are hidden in. He is married but has no children. One fall night while returning from work, he meets his new neighbor, a teenage girl named Clarisse McClellan, whose free-thinking ideals and liberating spirit cause him to question his life and his own perceived happiness. Montag returns home to find that his wife Mildred has overdosed on sleeping pills, and he calls for medical attention. Two uncaring EMTs pump Mildred’s stomach, drain her poisoned blood, and fill her with new blood. After the EMTs leave to rescue another overdose victim, Montag goes outside and overhears Clarisse and her family talking about the way life is in this hedonistic, illiterate society. Montag’s mind is bombarded with Clarisse’s subversive thoughts and the memory of his wife’s near-death. Over the next few days, Clarisse faithfully meets Montag each night as he walks home. She tells him about how her simple pleasures and interests make her an outcast among her peers and how she is forced to go to therapy for her behavior and thoughts. Montag looks forward to these meetings, and just as he begins to expect them, Clarisse goes missing. He senses something is wrong.

About the author of Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books one of which is Fahrenheit 451, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston’s classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television’s The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, “Live forever!” Bradbury later said, “I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.”

Information about the book Fahrenheit 451 pdf(Amazon)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Major characters in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag

Appropriately named after a paper-manufacturing company, Montag is the protagonist of Fahrenheit 451. He is by no means a perfect hero, however. The reader can sympathize with Montag’s mission, but the steps he takes toward his goal often seem clumsy and misguided. Montag’s faith in his profession and his society begins to decline almost immediately after the novel’s opening passage. Faced with the enormity and complexity of books for the first time, he is often confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. As a result, he has difficulty deciding what to do independently of Beatty, Mildred, or Faber. Likewise, he is often rash, inarticulate, self-obsessed, and too easily swayed. At times he is not even aware of why he does things, feeling that his hands are acting by themselves. These subconscious actions can be quite horrific, such as when he finds himself setting his supervisor on fire, but they also represent his deepest desires to rebel against the status quo and find a meaningful way to live.

Mildred Montag

Mildred is the one major character in the book who seems to have no hope of resolving the conflicts within herself. Her suicide attempt suggests that she is in great pain and that her obsession with television is a means to avoid confronting her life. But her true feelings are buried very deep within her. She even appears to be unaware of her own suicide attempt. She is a frightening character, because the reader would expect to know the protagonist’s wife very intimately, but she is completely cold, distant, and unreadable. Her betrayal of Montag is far more severe than Beatty’s, since she is, after all, his wife. Bradbury portrays Mildred as a shell of a human being, devoid of any sincere emotional, intellectual, or spiritual substance. Her only attachment is to the “family” in the soap opera she watches.

Captain Beatty

Beatty is a complex character, full of contradictions. He is a book burner with a vast knowledge of literature, someone who obviously cared passionately about books at some point. It is important to note that Beatty’s entire speech to Montag describing the history of the firemen is strangely ambivalent, containing tones of irony, sarcasm, passion, and regret, all at once. Beatty calls books treacherous weapons, yet he uses his own book learning to manipulate Montag mercilessly. In one of his most sympathetic moments, Beatty says he’s tried to understand the universe and knows firsthand its melancholy tendency to make people feel bestial and lonely. He is quick to stress that he prefers his life of instant pleasure, but it is easy to get the impression that his vehemence serves to deny his true feelings. His role as a character is complicated by the fact that Bradbury uses him to do so much explication of the novel’s background. In his shrewd observations of the world around him and his lack of any attempt to prevent his own death, he becomes too sympathetic to function as a pure villain.

Professor Faber

Named after a famous publisher, Faber competes with Beatty in the struggle for Montag’s mind. His control over Montag may not be as complete and menacing as Beatty’s, but he does manipulate Montag via his two-way radio to accomplish the things his cowardice has prevented him from doing himself, acting as the brain directing Montag’s body. Faber’s role and motivations are complex: at times he tries to help Montag think independently and at other times he tries to dominate him. Similarly, he can be cowardly and heroic by turns. Neither Faber nor Beatty can articulate his beliefs in a completely convincing way, despite the fact that their pupil is naïve and credulous.

Clarisse McClellan

Clarisse McClellan is a free-spirited young woman whom Montag encounters in the neighborhood on his way home from work. Clarisse describes herself as “seventeen and crazy,” and she talks in a series of rapid-fire questions and declarations that demonstrate an open and curious mind about the world around her. Although Montag retorts that she “think[s] too many things,” Clarisse’s curious mind clearly intrigues him, especially when he compares her to his own numb, unquestioning wife. Clarisse’s family intrigues Montag as well. Instead of spending all their time glued to wall-sized television screens, Clarisse’s family sits around with the lights on, talking late into the night. These unorthodox behaviors set the McClellans apart from the rest of society. Clarisse disappears from the novel fairly early, after she is killed by a speeding car. Despite her brief appearance in the book, Clarisse plays an important role in Montag’s development. The questions she asks make Montag question everything, and they eventually awaken him from his spiritual and intellectual slumber. For instance, when they part ways for the first time, Clarisse asks Montag if he’s happy. Montag has always assumed that he is happy, but her question helps him realize that he’s actually quite miserable. Just as Clarisse’s questions lead Montag to self-realization, her death spurs Montag into action and contributes to his belief that books might unlock secrets that could save society from its imminent self- destruction. In the end, Clarisse’s free-spirited nature functions to spark Montag’s awakening.


The leader of the “Book People,” the group of hobo intellectuals Montag finds in the country. Granger is intelligent, patient, and confident in the strength of the human spirit. He is committed to preserving literature through the current Dark Age.

Mrs. Phelps

One of Mildred’s vapid friends. She is emotionally disconnected from her life, appearing unconcerned when her third husband is sent off to war. Yet she breaks down crying when Montag reads her a poem, revealing suppressed feelings and sensibilities.

Themes explored in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Knowledge Versus Ignorance

Montag, Faber, and Beatty’s struggle revolves around the tension between knowledge and ignorance. The fireman’s duty is to destroy knowledge and promote ignorance in order to equalize the population and promote sameness. Montag’s encounters with Clarisse, the old woman, and Faber ignite in him the spark of doubt about this approach. His resultant search for knowledge destroys the unquestioning ignorance he used to share with nearly everyone else, and he battles the basic beliefs of his society.


In Fahrenheit 451, the theme of dissatisfaction has close connections to the themes of technology and censorship. The dystopian society Bradbury represents in the novel arose in its present form because of technological innovation. Technological innovation led to the ascendency of television, which in turn led to the devaluing and, eventually, the censoring of books. As Captain Beatty explains to Montag, the social history that led to the present state of affairs had everything to do with ensuring people’s peace of mind by keeping them entertained. As long as everyone remains entertained, they’ll be happy. However, Montag realizes early in the novel that constant entertainment has bred deep dissatisfaction. For instance, Mildred can’t live without entertainment. She’s always watching television in her “parlor” or listening to her in-ear radio. The only reason she steps away from these entertainments is to seek cathartic release while driving around in her beetle at top speeds. Mildred insists that she’s happy, yet her near-suicide at the beginning of the novel suggests otherwise. Dissatisfaction rages just beneath the surface, even for those who don’t consciously realize it.


Technological innovation represents the central source of society’s problems in Fahrenheit 451. Throughout the book, Bradbury treats technology as inherently anesthetizing and destructive. In the prehistory of the novel, technology played an important role in the social decline of reading. As technology improved, it gave rise to new forms of media, like television and in-ear radios. The televisions in Bradbury’s future are the size of whole walls, and when installed to form three-dimensional entertainment spaces called “parlors,” they have a mesmerizing, immersive effect. Despite being more immersive than books, television programs feature simplified content meant primarily to entertain. As Montag observes over the course of the novel, the television programs his wife Mildred watches are pointless and often gratuitously violent. Whenever Mildred isn’t watching television, she’s listening to a constant stream of music and advertisements that play through her in-ear radio. Mildred remains “plugged in” at all times, and Montag ascribes her emotional vacancy and lack of empathy to her addiction to these forms of technology. By extension, the shallowness and heartlessness of Montag’s society as a whole derives from its collective addiction to entertainment.

In contrast to the anesthetizing effect of new media technologies, other forms of technology in Bradbury’s future have a more materially destructive force. For instance, the automobiles—or “beetles”—that appear everywhere in the city can easily reach top speeds of more than one hundred miles per hour. As such, they encourage fast, reckless driving and result in many fatal accidents. Mildred frequently lets off steam by driving fast, which particularly distresses Montag after he learns that a speeding beetle killed Clarisse. Another example of technology’s destructiveness appears in the Mechanical Hound, a metal contraption designed to track down and kill lawbreakers. Although the Hound must be specifically programmed with the biometrics of the person it’s meant to attack, early in the novel the Hound acts aggressively toward Montag, suggesting that Hound technology may be easy to manipulate to nefarious ends. However, the most destructive technology of all is the atomic bomb. Two nuclear wars occurred in the novel’s recent past, and the book ends with an atomic bomb falling on the city. Nuclear technology makes war both easier and more destructive, and in Fahrenheit 451, the ever-present threat of atomic war maintains an atmosphere of anxiety.


Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t provide a single, clear explanation of why books are banned in the future. Instead, it suggests that many different factors could combine to create this result. These factors can be broken into two groups: factors that lead to a general lack of interest in reading and factors that make people actively hostile toward books. The novel doesn’t clearly distinguish these two developments. Apparently, they simply support one another. The first group of factors includes the popularity of competing forms of entertainment such as television and radio. More broadly, Bradbury thinks that the presence of fast cars, loud music, and advertisements creates a lifestyle with too much stimulation in which no one has the time to concentrate. Also, the huge mass of published material is too overwhelming to think about, leading to a society that reads condensed books (which were very popular at the time Bradbury was writing) rather than the real thing. The second group of factors, those that make people hostile toward books, involves envy. People don’t like to feel inferior to those who have read more than they have.

But the novel implies that the most important factor leading to censorship is the objections of special-interest groups and “minorities” to things in books that offend them. Bradbury is careful to refrain from referring specifically to racial minorities—Beatty mentions dog lovers and cat lovers, for instance. The reader can only try to infer which special-interest groups he really has in mind. As the Afterword to Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates, Bradbury is extremely sensitive to any attempts to restrict his free speech; for instance, he objects strongly to letters he has received suggesting that he revise his treatment of female or black characters. He sees such interventions as essentially hostile and intolerant—as the first step on the road to book burning.

Where to buy Fahrenheit 45 by Ray Bradbury

You can buy Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 which stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before. This book can be bought from the following sites online


Read reviews on Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Editorial reviews and praise for Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“Brilliant . . . Startling and ingenious . . . Mr. Bradbury’s account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating.” —Orville Prescott, The New York Times

“A masterpiece . . . A glorious American classic everyone should read: It’s life-changing if you read it as a teen, and still stunning when you reread it as an adult.” —Alice Hoffman, The Boston Globe

“The sheer lift and power of a truly original imagination exhilarates . . . His is a very great and unusual talent.” —Christopher Isherwood, Tomorrow

“One of this country’s most beloved writers . . . A great storyteller, sometimes even a mythmaker, a true American classic.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

Customer reviews on barnesandnoble for Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Bay Shore, NY
5 out of 5 stars.
10 months ago  
Second Chance Read

I read this book for the first time in ninth grade and I HATED it. I thought it was so boring. And yet I’ve never stopped thinking about it, and the older I got the more interested I was in giving it another shot. At about twice the age of my original read, I’ve fallen in love with this book and possibly Ray Bradbury as an author in general (I’ve already bought half a dozen of his other works, so we’ll find out if I’ve found a new favorite author, or just a new favorite book). I don’t know if it’s just that I’ve gathered more experience and seen more changes now than I had as a young teen, but everything Guy experienced felt more realistic to me now than it did back then. Every year, people seem to be slightly more absorbed in the people on a screen than in the people right beside them. I don’t think we have to worry too much about books fading out of existence–there are people in the store all day everyday. They form lines in the morning before we open our doors. There are internet communities built around books–BookTube, Bookstagram, Book Twitter, Goodreads, TikTok now. The love of books seems everlasting (I hope) and maybe we can stave off the world of Guy Montag’s for a long time more.

B&N Home Office
5 out of 5 stars
a year ago  
It’s A Classic For A Reason!

The first time I read Fahrenheit 451 was in my 7th grade English class. I’ve returned to it again and again over the years. Its concept is striking, haunting even, and resonates with readers all over the world. We must all find a way to keep reading alive despite our attention being pulled in a million different directions.

B&N Home Office
5 out of 5 stars
a year ago  
An “Important” Book That’s Also A Page-Turner???

Yes! Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” is one of those rare books that tackles the really big ideas and is a blast to read. In today’s more ‘sophisticated’ world, some may yawn at the idea of a 1953 title having any relevance to today’s world – yet the parallels are profound and moving. The discussion on censorship and governmental control over information has never burned brighter, the ‘parlor walls’ (full wall immersive televisions) are still a wonderful stand-in for today’s technology, and the ‘mechanical hounds’ are easily re-imagined as our drones (plus the chase scene which recalls a certain former football player). This is just a book everyone with a love for books and intellectual freedom must read. The bonus is this is Ray Bradbury, who was exceptional among writers (and especially Science Fiction authors) for his often beautiful prose. The man could write. His short stories are impeccable and beautiful and jaw-dropping and delightful, and so so addictive. Try the whole of “The Martian Chronicles”, ‘The Veldt’ from “The Illustrated Man”, or…. ‘A Sound of Thunder’ found in “Golden Apples of the Sun”, a story which chillingly foretold the last 5 years or so of American life, and a life-changing story about the ripple effects in even the smallest things we do. Overall he is a smart, serious and often whimsical, engaging writer, and Fahrenheit 451, while not the most beautiful, is certainly one of the most resonant. Highly recommended

4 out of 5 stars
6 months ago  
I Didn’t Read This In School But Now I Have

I don’t understand how some people don’t like this book. I didn’t read this in school but now I have and I can surely say I loved this book. When I was reading this book I would imagine a future that belonged to the past. If we lose books we lose our shared history we lose what makes us human. We learn that literature is a precious life itself.

Contrary World
5 out of 5 stars.
11 months ago  
A Dystopian Classic

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all time favorites. It’s written in the third person, placing you into the shoes of an objective narrator who has special access to the thoughts and world view of the characters within the book, especially that of the protagonist. The protagonist (Guy Montag) actually begins the story as a sort of villain really. His profession is that of a future based fireman, who don’t really put out fires like they used to. In fact, they professionally start fires. What a clever twist on Bradbury’s part.These firemen are sanctioned by what one can only conclude to be a dystopian government to burn books, as well as the houses they are contained within. In this future world, the government has deemed books as dangerous, containing ideas that run counter to the narrative they wish to form and broadcast via televisions that cover entire walls within people’s homes. And the people want this, as they feel more comfortable with their government fed information. How dystopian indeed.

Reminds one of the behavior of the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages. The two have book burning in common, as well as burning Bibles (in the case of the RCC, Bibles that didn’t subscribe to their criteria – even though they came from source material originating from the same authors). No offense to Catholics – some Protestant sects weren’t much better (like the early Anglicans who destroyed much of the Church’s property, including relics, as did Orthodox Christians during the Iconoclast Era).Montag takes quite apparent joy in his job, causing a smile to overcome his face every time he gets to burn those devilish books. That is, until he becomes intrigued by a young neighbor girl named Clarisse. Clarisse is a female character that many feminists sadly overlook as to her importance in the overall arc of the story. Good on Bradbury for taking this approach, as you know what they say – “behind every great man, there’s an even greater woman”. This doesn’t always have to imply a spouse, mind you, and Bradbury exploited this fact while using Montag’s lame wife as a great contrast.

Clarisse is somehow able to tap into Montag’s emotional capacity to better understand what exactly his job is harming, and how his otherwise dull life (including dull wife who serves as a great example of the brainwashed zombie like people of his society) could become so much more enriched by. This confrontation with not only Clarisse – but himself – causes a sort of psychosis for our villainous protagonist. And thus begins his character development that makes the book really begin to take off and hook the reader into the protagonist’s story arc and growth. At first, Montag struggles with his newfound understanding of the profound beauty of books. He is intrigued by the sense of wonder, emotion, and timelessness that books have to offer compared to the mind numbing talking heads that rule the day (sounds similar to our times with all the political talking heads telling how people should think, unlike books that allow people to draw their own conclusions). Yet he is still skeptical, resisting this newfound understanding as he continues in his line of work.

He challenges the notion of books being a net positive for society along the way, including challenging protectors of books along the way. All of this amidst some unknown war going on in the background of the story that is never really described in much detail. I assume that Bradbury himself had assumed (living in the days of the Cold War between the US and the USSR) that some kind of war of that magnitude coming to fruition was sadly somewhat inevitable. As his change of heart is occurring, he struggles with his chief named Beatty (the antagonist of the story). Beatty is a walking contradiction, as he is full of knowledge pertaining to the books they burn. He is so well versed in their content by heart, yet seeks to eliminate books from existence on behalf of the government.

Unlike Montag who simply found pleasure in his destructive line of work, Beatty knows full well every reason and intention as to why they do and takes pleasure in doing so. This, all while being so well versed in the knowledge and insights contained within them. He overall sees them as dangerous, yet behaves as if the type of knowledge contained within books should be reserved for elites rather than the average citizen. This antagonist displays the kind of pretentious attitude that perfectly captures what it means to convey the notion of a dystopian society within a book of this genre.After trials and tribulations in his struggle, Montag reaches a point where he is so moved by the message of a particular book, that he even steals it so that he can preserve it himself. As a Christian myself, I personally loved that this book just so happened to be a Bible. Why does Montag take such a personal infatuation with the Bible?

It may be that Montag’s society is so lost that when bombs begin to fall toward the end, whatever Montag had read might help him and others rebuild society for the better. After all, the Bible is full of advice, and provides direction for moral and ethical enrichment. Certainly a new society would need guidelines to rebuild and improve over mistakes made in the past. Montag refers to the book of Job at one point in the story, as well as references made about Caanan. At the end, Montag even tries to recall parts of the books of Ecclesiastes and Revelation. The book of Revelation itself (arguably my favorite book of the Bible – I’m a fan of the dystopian genre after all) deals with the end of times. Although, perhaps Montag failed to recall this as quickly as he might because they are preparing to start a new life when the world appears to be ending.The novel ends with Montag escaping the city in the midst of this new war. He escapes deep into the countryside, meeting a band of roving intellectuals who have elected to preserve significant works of literature in their memory. Reminds me of the Vaudois, the Waldenses and the Albigenses who preserved the original books of scripture in spite of the persecution they suffered from the RCC.

Not long after these roving intellectuals welcome Montag into their community, an atomic bomb falls on the city and reduces it to rubble. The next morning Montag leads the men on foot back toward the city with rebuilding in mind. The novel’s conclusion functions to bring the prevalent violence to its logical conclusion, which is that violence infiltrates nearly every aspect of the world our protagonist finds himself in.The firemen violently destroy people’s property and lives. Television displays gruesome, desensitizing violence for viewers’ entertainment. Pedestrians regularly get trampled by speeding vehicles. Finally, war takes these forms of violence to a new extreme, destroying society and its infrastructure altogether. The novel’s ending depicts the inevitable self-destruction of such an oppressive society in such an effective, and rather melancholy fashion.

As stated in the beginning of the Fahrenheit 451 book review, this book is one of my all time favorites. It’s no wonder as to why I give it a 5/5 rating. Bradbury’s use of language is lyrical, yet not overly forceful. He paints a picture of a world in which we as a society should wish to avoid – in a multifaceted way.When it comes to dystopian books, this is truly a classic – and for good reason. Not only was it tremendous back in its heyday; it has stood the test of time, proving to be of use to us nearly 70 years later. I absolutely love Fahrenheit 451, and I believe you would too if you love dystopian fiction and have happened to somehow not have read it yet (it happens – later is better than never though!).

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