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Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine Books, 1953.

Fahrenheit 451

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RAY BRADBURY (1920- )
Fahrenheit 451

American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet Ray Bradbury ended his formal education when he graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1938. He then spent most of his time in the public library. Bradbury’s first major work was The Martian Chronicles (1950), which describes the first attempts by humans to conquer and colonize Mars. As much a work of social criticism as of science fiction, The Martian Chronicles reflected some of the prevailing anxieties of the atomic era; it also appealed to the national imagination by portraying space as our next Manifest Destiny. Twelve years later John F. Kennedy was to officially announce “The Final Frontier” at Rice University.

Bradbury’s writing was honored when an Apollo astronaut named the Dandelion Crater on the Moon after his novel, Dandelion Wine.

Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Bradbury’s famous dystopian novel, first appeared as “The Fireman” in Horace Gold’s Galaxy Science Fiction in 1951. A post-Hiroshima apocalyptic vision of technological mayhem, the novel lauds an individual survivor of a hostile twenty-fourth century dystopia. Ironically, 34 years after the novel’s publication, it was banned in a Florida high school for its offensive language.

Fahrenheit 451 is set in a future when the written word is forbidden. Resisting a totalitarian state that burns all books, a group of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy…

 

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