Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury is a futuristic novel, taking the reader to a time where books and thinking are outlawed. In a time so bad where those who want to educate themselves by thinking and by reading are outlaws as well. Books and ideas are burned; books are burned physically, while ideas are burned from the mind. Bradbury warns us of what may happen if we stop expressing our ideas, and we let people take away our books and thoughts. Bradbury is also a very symbolic writer who adds symbolism into his book. Bradbury's use of symbolism throughout the novel makes the book more powerful by using symbolism against censorship. .
Set in the 24th century, Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of the protagonist, Guy Montag, who at the start of the story takes pleasure in his profession as a fireman whose job is not to put out fires, but to start them by burning books and houses where they are kept illegally. Montag soon begins to question the value of his profession and his life. As he develops a friendship with his 16 year old neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, the girl's outlook on life gets Montag to examine himself. He realizes that he is unhappy in his relationship with his wife, Millie, who is unwilling to deal with reality and instead chooses to keep herself in the virtual world of her television and radio. Montag then steals a book from a collection that he has been sent to burn and is sick to his stomach when he realizes the importance of books. He then finds out that Clarisse has been killed which makes his condition worse. The next day, Montag is visited by his boss, the antagonist of the story, Captain Beatty. Beatty hints that he, somehow, knows that Montag is in possession of a book and lectures Montag about the consequences. Unsure of what to do next, Montag decides to visit Professor Faber, a retired professor. Faber gives Montag a small two way radio to put in his ear so they will always be in communication.