Fahrenheit 451 – The Movie

Fahrenheit 451– The Motion picture

The film Fahrenheit 451, directed by Francois Truffaut in 1966, was an adaptation of the novel Fahrenheit 451, composed by Ray Bradbury. The story detailed the world in which the main character, Montag, lived. Montag was a fireman in a future dystopia; a future where fire fighters do not stop fires, they begin them.

The fires began were book burnings. They thought that books resulted in anti-social behavior, therefore required to be ruined. Montag, at the start, was a devoted follower in this theory about books. However, as the story progressed, he started to read, and got away the rigid, censored city in which he lived and traveled to a better location in the country, where individuals remembered entire books so the stories might never ever be eliminated from them.

Fahrenheit 451 was a story about censorship, the private versus society, and understanding versus ignorance. It showed the mindsets about censorship in America in the 1950s, and mirrors not just the issue of censorship, but likewise the problem of the individual versus society in today’s American society.

Schedule burnings have belonged of world culture for centuries. It is under the umbrella of censorship. For example, in the United States today, fairy tales are being sanitized by mediums such as the Disney movies. Parents across the country support the sterilizing of fairy tales because it rids the stories of the “frightening” parts, insuring that their kids will not suffer from problems due to the stories.

Nevertheless, by ridding fairy tales of the “frightening” parts, the stories lose their significance. The stories that as soon as taught children about not only changes within their society, however modifications within themselves, have actually now lost all significance. This is outright censorship.

In essence, the very same thing happened in Fahrenheit 451. The city’s authorities, the cops and the fire department, wished to rid the city of books, for that reason understanding. Possibly they hesitated that the commoner would become too smart. For example, the fire chief appeared afraid of the lady who chose to be burned together with her books.

Montag wished to save her; he insisted that they get her out of the home where the books were going to burn. The female would not go. She firmly insisted that she be burned with her books, the books that “spoke” to her, the books that she learned from and loved so much.

The movie began with a book burning, then moved into the censorship of tv. Linda, Montag’s better half, was enjoying a television show about self-defense. The self-defense methods shown, however, had very little contact, remained in slow movement, and took place in a padded room. This was akin to the censorship of television in the 1950s. On television programs of that age, such as Leave It to Beaver, there was no violence. There were only lessons to be learned. The tv program Linda was watching was reminiscent of these earlier programs.

Every aspect of the film appeared to reveal the theme of censorship, from the actions of the characters to the appearance of the sets. For example, the fire station and Montag’s house seem sterilized, void of life. These settings are sparsely furnished and have intense, even extreme, colors.

The doors in Montag’s house open immediately; neither Montag nor Linda need to touch anything. The characters appeared removed from their environments. The separated sensation gives the viewer a sensation of loss, a feeling that something is missing. This is the main point of censorship, to eliminate something. Because of the significant theme of censorship, Truffaut most likely planned to develop a sense of loss.

Fire plays a big role in the style of censorship in Fahrenheit 451. The title of the film itself is significant: 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature level at which paper ignites and burns.

The really first image the audience sees is a fire engine. From the telephone call the guy in the very first scene received informing him to get out of his apartment right away, the viewer understood that the fire department was not on its method to put out a fire. The fire department produced fires in order to burn books. The public is deprived of literature; the society in which they live is being censored, not just by the fire department, but by the fire itself.

Truffaut presumed as to consist of the credits at the beginning of the movie in the style of censorship. The credits are spoken aloud, a clever echo of the theme of censorship. In the film, any type of writing was forbidden. Books were burned and papers only had photos. The spoken credits present this idea to the audience immediately. Initially, this apparent distinction in the credits seemed rather odd, nevertheless, as the movie advanced, the viewer learned why the credits were spoken and not in print.

The censorship theme of Fahrenheit 451 was likewise reminiscent of Communist fears of the 1950s. People feared that Communism would remove certain liberties, such as the freedom of speech, which includes media such as literature and tv. As portrayed in the movie, the authorities wanted to limit the general public’s freedom to read.

The style of knowledge versus lack of knowledge could be seen throughout the movie. The characters were stereotyped. The people who check out books were smart, while the people who did not read were depicted as ignorant, for that reason inferior. Because the authorities were amongst the individuals who did not check out, and were for that reason inferior, they could not permit the public to be more powerful than themselves. This is revealed by the multiple book burnings, and the ultimate arrest of those who possessed reading material in their homes.

The authorities achieved success in their oppression of those who possessed reading material. Those who were smart were either eliminated of town, like Clarisse, the lady Montag befriended on the monorail, or killed, like the woman who picked to be burned with her books. This guaranteed that the authorities would not be overtaken. The authorities, right up till completion of the movie, controlled the city.

Around the middle of the story, Montag, once a leader in the fire department and up for a promotion, started to check out. After beginning his reading, he started to understand that the cops and the fire department were depriving citizens of a fantastic experience. Montag chose to give up the fire department, hoping that the fire chief would not find out his factor for stopping his task.

Nevertheless, the fire chief did find out. The books in Montag’s house were burned, but Montag managed to conserve one. A scuffle occurred when the fire chief discovered the books Montag was trying to conserve. Distressed and scared by the gun the fire chief pulled on him, Montag, holding a fire torch with which he had actually burned his own books, set the fire chief ablaze.

Now on the run for his life, Montag got away to the countryside, where people known as “book individuals” lived. These people remembered whole books, hoping that one day, the stories they remembered might be written on paper again.

Montag’s enlightenment is when the style of the individual versus society began to reveal itself. Montag recognized that depriving the residents of checking out product was wrong. Alone, Montag faced the authorities when the whole city was against him. For instance, when Montag was trying to get to the countryside, the authorities went through the town in a vehicle with a bullhorn on top, telling the residents to keep an eye out for Montag, that he was a killer and needed to be caught. The city turned on a male who was as soon as a respected resident.

When Montag started reading, society concurrently began to turn on him. For example, after Montag was up late reading, the next day he was unable to go up the fireman’s pole like he had actually had the ability to previously. Also, due to the fact that Montag began checking out, the door to his home would no longer open automatically.

At first, these changes were subtle, and although they were inconveniences, the modifications were not worrying. However, this is when Montag’s life began its downward spiral. Montag’s scenarios due to the fact that of reading became worse and even worse up until he needed to give up his entire way of life.

A small style of the movie, the specific versus society showed how one person can make a difference. Montag did not make a difference in his community, however he made a modification for himself. He quit his home, his other half, and his profession for what he believed was right. In essence, he quit his whole way of life. Rarely do individuals do this for their beliefs today. Americans today are more interested in joy and success to bother with doing what is right. Had more people in the film functioned as Montag had, a major modification in the society would have been made.

The individual versus society is an issue in today’s American society. Individuals now look out just for themselves, and largely ignore the rest of society. American life today has to do with one’s own happiness and success, not the joy and success of his neighbor. People are constantly trying to “one up” their next-door neighbors, contending to see who has the larger house, the fancier car, or the happiest household. However, unlike in Fahrenheit 451, where society protested particular individuals, in today’s American society, people seem to be against society.

Although Francois Truffaut holds on to the original story written by Ray Bradbury, Truffaut’s film had an extremely anti-censorship message, whereas Bradbury’s story concentrated on technology ruining literature. Censorship permeated every element of the film, sending the audience the message that if society keeps censoring excessively, its people will lose numerous valuable elements of life.

This story is especially pertinent in American society. The government censors television material, and some libraries will not bring specific books, such as Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. It is definitely ironic that a story that speaks out so well about anti-censorship and details the horrors of banning books is itself banned in some libraries.

The styles of censorship, the individual versus society, and understanding versus lack of knowledge are prevalent throughout the movie. These concerns have actually afflicted American society from the time the story was written and can even be seen in American society today. Truffaut followed Ray Bradbury’s story closely, however gave the tale an anti-censorship message. Truffaut produced a movie that has endured the test of time; he developed a movie to which viewers today can relate.


Truffaut, Francois (Director). (1966 ). Fahrenheit 451 [Movie] Los Angeles: Universal Pictures.

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