Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

Author’s Purpose: Ray Bradbury wrote this book about a society of people who were uneducated and had no purpose in life. He wrote this book because he wanted to describe what it would be like if people didn’t think for themselves and were controlled by the government or other higher powers. His main purpose was to make people realize that it its okay to question what you don’t understand and stand up for what you believe in.

It was a pleasure to burn.
It was a special pleasure to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning. Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame.
He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never went away, as long as he remembered.


“…with this great python spit its venomous kerosene upon the world… ”

Bradbury could has easily just said “The nozzle sprayed gasoline around the room” in opposition to personifying the hose, but he personified the hose on the fire truck to pant a more vivid image of what he was trying to portray. This tie back to the author’s purpose furthermore shows that the initiative to burn books was not hypothetical, and the books really were burned for a sole purpose of the better good of mankind.

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Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Random House Group, 1987.