The characters of R. Bradbury are loners, throwing themselves into a hopeless battle, striving not so much to win as to assert their human dignity. A. Meyer Love for man, hatred for everything hostile to him – to what prevents a person from being worthy of this proud title – such is the driving force of R. Bradbury’s creativity. This inseparable “love-hate” helped him create, perhaps, the strongest of the infinite number of novel-warnings written in our century – “451 ° Fahrenheit”, a book that brought the author worldwide fame. The world glimmered with horror at the glow of the flames from the burning books, generated by the sinister firemen of Bradbury, who suffered the effects of his novel at a time when books were being burned for making
The profession of the main hero of the novel Guy Montagu is a fireman, but a fireman, armed not with a water hose with water, but with a flame thrower with kerosene. He does not extinguish, but kindles fires. Indeed, it happened more than once: what is meant to save people, help them, make life happier, suddenly turns against them, begins to crush, oppress, threaten, finally, kill. Something similar is happening now with the Western culture, which sometimes passes – sometimes imperceptibly – into the counterculture, into the mass culture, into the kitsch, into something that has nothing in common with genuine culture, although it often continues to dress up in the old clothes. But after all, firemen from the novel are sure that the meaning of their profession is always to rush and burn seditious volumes with the signal of fire alarm, together with the houses, and even the owners.
The society depicted by Bradbury not only kills books and people, so to speak, physically. It first of all kills souls… How many of them such as Mildred, are creatures with an anthropoid shell, from which, however, everything human is shaken out. When the remnants of the soul, glimpses of conscience awake, Mildred, even clearly not aware of what she is doing, is trying to commit suicide, and her friends, the same
But Bradbury would not be a progressive writer if he confined himself only to warnings and frightening scenes. In all his works there are always heroes who oppose. Remarkable anti-conformist words of Juan Ramos Jimenez: “If you are given a lined paper, write across,” which became an epigraph to the novel, you can put an epigraph to the entire creation of the American science fiction writer. Not only in the heart of the main hero of the novel “451 ° Fahrenheit”, but also the reader with an acute pain will recall an episode with a woman who herself set fire to herself along with the library. It is not for nothing that the novel cites the words of a sixteenth-century heretic, who was burnt to death by the Inquisition: “We will light such a candle in England today, which I believe will never be extinguished.”
Along the lines of writing, the young Clarissa, who has plagued the soul of Montague, a girl who is interested not in how something is done, but for what and why. Here already and the hereditary fireman Montag hides half-burned volumes in his bosom, as the believer – perishing shrines. And when Montag escapes from the city, he is greeted by tramps at campfires – intellectuals, writers, teachers. Each of them learned by heart some great creation of the past. They believe that the time will come when all the treasures of human thought, which the evil forces tried so hard to incinerate, will revive again, preserved by this living library. The society that burns books can not, does not have a moral right to exist, and the author condemns him to the death penalty.
The atomic bombers are roaring with a roar, and the devouring flame, even more cruel than the one that destroyed the books, lays off the gloomy city from the face of the Earth. The death of Montegue executes the fireman Beatty, a cynical ideologist of the Society of Burned Books. To justify his view of the future, the writer talks about the potential threats that lie in wait for us.
In the novel “451 ° Fahrenheit” I found a lot of gloomy, stunning paintings of the soul, but surprisingly: closed it without a heavy draft, on the contrary, it has something light, even sunny, reminiscent of the smile of a red, rusty, freckled boy. This happened because the optimism of the author, his belief in the final triumph of the mind, breaks through the lines, that all miracles and wonders created by man will be passed on – from generation to generation, and so on without end. In his novel, Bradbury convinces us that humanity can cope with any difficulties, that it will not only survive, but can become happy. And so you want to believe in it!