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Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title  · Fahrenheit 451

author  · Ray Bradbury

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Science fiction

language  · English

time and place written  · 1950–1953, Los Angeles, California

date of first publication  · 1953 (a shorter version entitled “The Fireman” was published in 1951 in Galaxy Science Fiction)

publisher  · Ballantine Books

narrator  · Third-person, limited omniscient; follows Montag’s point of view, often articulating his interior monologues

climax  · Montag’s murder of Beatty

protagonist  · Montag

antagonist  · Beatty, but also society in general

setting (time) · Sometime in the twenty-fourth century; there have been two atomic wars since 1990

setting (place)  · In and around an unspecified city

point of view  · Montag’s

falling action  · Montag’s trip out of the city into the country

tense  · Past, with occasional transitions into present tense during Montag’s interior monologues and stream-of-consciousness passages

foreshadowing  · Montag’s uncanny feelings of prescience; early descriptions of the Mechanical Hound; Montag’s nervous glances toward the ventilator shaft where he has hidden his books; discussion of the qualities of fire

tone  · Foreboding and menacing, disoriented, poetic, bitterly satirical

themes  · Censorship, knowledge versus ignorance

motifs  · Paradoxes, animals and nature, religion, television and radio

symbols  · Fire, blood, the Electric-Eyed Snake, the hearth, the salamander, the phoenix, the sieve and the sand, Denham’s Dentifrice, the dandelion, mirrors