Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Creators

Ray Bradbury (writer).

Extent

Read in 2017.

Commentary

In the most obvious comparison to Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Fahrenheit 451 is a more conventional cathartic and heroic action piece, more in tune with wealthy postwar US society, which is probably why it stayed on high-school reading lists and, in turn, survived in pop culture for so long. Montag kills Beatty, unlike Smith with O’Brien, and ultimately the oppressive state is at least badly injured, with a humble seed of canonical old wisdom ready to replace it.

The technology and the ideology of the state, removing difficulty and complexity and replacing them with empty spectacle, are half way between Brave New World (1932) (crucially planned and centralized) and the greater darkness of the similarly spectacular THX-1138 (1971). For a more credible update to Brave New World (1932), refer instead to the contemporary Player Piano (1952).

References here: The Hunger Games (2012).

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