Fahrenheit 451 is a book in which author Ray Bradbury warns future generations. He questions the philosophies that were prevalent at the time. These novel’s philosophies of information and repression versus ignorance were applied in the 1950s, during a time of coherent anticommunism. McCarthy, for example, almost single-handedly induces a sense of fear in the United States government. The hysteria spreads and influences many of the identities present in the United States. Via the use of figurative vocabulary and plot form, the habit of suppressing literature and ideas is thoroughly discussed.
Narrative mechanisms aid in the writing and interpretation of the literary narratives. They also give the manner and order in which a narrative is presented to the listener, reader or the viewer. In Fahrenheit 451, the author follows the steps of narrative structures such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Exposition is well explored in the novel. The novel starts with, ‘’It was a pleasure to burn’’, (Bradbury, 1).It is here where the readers get to meet a totally enthralled man whose work is a fireman for books. The novel is set in a society of dystopia where everybody wants to be comfortable. In this society, books are burned by firemen at the expense of putting out the fire. These sets the source of all the unhappiness and discord. The author says. ‘’colored people do not like little black sambo. Burn it. People do not feel good about Uncle Tom’s cabin…burn the book. Serenity Montag. Peace Montag. Since books are considered as information that will only cause controversy, people rather watch extremely amount of television on wall-sized sets and listen to seashell radio’’ (Bradbury, 24). The citizens are not forced into facing unpleasant things. Mechanisms have been put in place to punish and avenge those citizens who break the rules which the society has set. Also, exposition comes when Montag is introduced by Bradbury and readers are informed of his over 10 year’s work of burning books. Mildred is introduced to the readers as well as her desire for a fourth television wall. As Montag heads to home, he then meets Clarisse, signaling beginning of his intellectual journey.
Rising action in the novel begins when Clarisse meets Montag for the first time. It then goes on up to the time the visiting women is dedicated a poetry by Montag. The action of confrontation between Montag and poetry scene with Beatty is roughly held at a level plane. Besides Montag knowing that he is going to be discovered, he is too unable to do anything in order to avoid. Until the climax, there is suspicion by captain Beatty that Montag has stolen a book. He gives him lecture on the importance of destroying the books (Harold, 21). Despite the society’s rules of censorship, Beatty is aware of literature. He ends up giving Montag 24 hours of going through the books and proving that, the literature is void of meaning. With his determination of understanding literature better, he contacts Faber, who was his former professor. Most of the rising action in the novel is provided by personal self-discovery journey of Montag. It is here where Montag starts to fall when he comes to realize his own level of action and individualism. He says, ’’of course I am happy. What does she think? Am I not? He asked the quiet rooms. He stood looking up at the ventilator grille in the hall and suddenly remembered that something lay hidden behind the grille, something that seemed to peer down at him now. He moved his eyes quickly away’’.(Bradbury,62)In Montag’s mind rising action is brought about by his life actions such as the sudden knowing of what the firemen do, books that will not be left by the old woman and his Clarisse’s death that caused his sadness. Rising action for Montage seems to follow his individual development.
The writer uses climax as a narrative structure. The book discusses a community where every member thinks and acts the same way. Those not conforming to the rules have died like Clarisse. The novel climax is when Montag, makes a decision of stepping out of the set society rules and ends up killing Beatty who is his boss. The poem ‘’Dover Beach’’ is read by Montag to his friends and wife. The poem drives Mrs. Phelps to crying making ladies present in the house to storm out. Mildred, Montag’s wife then makes a call to the fire chief so that they report that Montag is hiding books.
Falling action is used by the author in the novel. Montag sprays frame thrower when he is told to burn his books and ends in killing himself. He too hides and flees from the city. It is when he is travelling down the river following the railroads as per the directions given to him by Faber that he gets to meet intellectual group and preserving the truth of books (Harold, 36).
Resolution is applied when Montag is taught by a group of intellectual on ways of reciting and memorizing books with the hope that one day he will be able to produce his literature works. Nuclear bombs are dropped by overhead flying jet on the city. It is here that Montag starts working towards a society and at the end he rebuilds a civilization that is literate.
Bradbury, R. Fahrenheit 451: Harper Voyager, 2013.
Harold, B. Fahrenheit 451.Infobase publishing, 2007.