When a book is compared to a great classic, it’s unavoidable that the reader would have high expectations. In many reviews Fahrenheit 451 is compared to George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984. Sadly, Fahrenheit 451, is not even a little brother to 1984. So, my review is in this comparison.
In 1984 George Orwell created a world of fear and paranoia, where one has to either comply or die. Orwell is the one who coined the phrase ‘big brother’ that is so widely used these days. He is the one who created pages and pages of brainwashing doctrine that is the core of the 1984 world. 1984 is a story of survival and a failed attempt to love. 1984 is big, ground breaking, full of fear and it leaves you wanting more.
On the contrast, Fahrenheit 451 feels like more a reflection of the writer on what would it be like to live in a dystopian world. It is a struggle of one man to discover and understand his true place in a society that does not accept dissent. The novel is more self-focused; the narrative primarily revolves around the main character, Guy Montag, and the scariest thing is a metal hound that injects people with poison. (Honestly, if one had to really defend oneself against the metal hound, all one had to do is to bash its head with a rock. *eye roll, please*). The only memorable thing from the book is its title. Supposedly, the Ray Bradbury thought it was autoingnition temperature of paper. I’ve looked it up online and, generally, scientists believe that it could be anywhere between 424–475 °F, depending on the type of paper.
Listen, if not compared to Orwell’s masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451 is not a bad [stand alone] novel. A bit drawn out and basic in its form, but not bad. There are a couple of ideas here and there that I could connect with and consider, but that’s about it. The novel is worth reading as it is considered an American classic, but it won’t leave you thinking about it or wanting for more.