It’s easy to see why ‘Farenheit 451’ is a cult classic, beloved by the majority of bookworms. Oh, it validates us, doesn’t it? Here is a future world where books are banned, and look at this; it has gone to the dogs. The saddest of all post-apocalyptic worlds, the bleakest dystopia, what a nightmare – NO BOOKS!
The good are those who read, the bad are those who watch the TV. Yes, this is what we like to read to make us feel all warm inside. And because of that we are seemingly willing to forgive Bradbury for a lot of things: really poor world-building skills, lacklustre characterisation, inconsistencies.
Oh, and sexism. The women in the books are generally brainwashed bimbos, except of course for the wonder-child Clarisse from the beginning of the book, who is a representation of a very annoying archetype as well.
And you would think that, since the book is mostly an endless roll call of all the authors and books that need to be salvaged from the fire, at least ONE female author would get a mention. Nope. Zero. They can all burn for all that Bradbury cares. After all, the secret gang dedicated to preserving the world literary heritage is made up entirely of men. Now, this to me does look like a very sad world indeed.
Go and read Farenheit 451. It’s not a novel in its fully developed sense, more of an allegory, a hyperbole and Bradbury occasionally produces sentences of startling beauty. The problem with this book is the same problem there is with a world without books – it’s somewhat flat, somewhat numb.