Evolving from a short novel called "Bright Phoenix," Fahrenheit 451 became a controversial and well-known book. Based around censorship, Fahrenheit 451 looks at the historic tradition of book burning and a world where books are literally illegal in this dystopian government. The number 451 refers to the temperature in Fahrenheit that the pages of a book will auto ignite, which is ironic because the protagonist of the book Guy Montag is a firefighter. The book takes place sometime in the future where America, it seems, is anti-intellectual and they can't think for themselves, the government tells them how to live and mentally confines them with the government hosted television channels. This novel is takes a look at how unreasonable a government can become if not regulated by the people.
Guy Montag is the main character of this novel, he works as a firefighter in a dictatorship like government which regulates what the people basically do and how they do it. In this futuristic type world Guy Montag's job is not to battle raging fires but to start them. The government has basically banned books in this society. Anyone caught reading books is, at the minimum, confined in a mental hospital, while the books are taken away and burned or taken to the maximum the penalty is death. If one is found with the possession of books or is caught reading them, this firefighting service burns the books and the persons house, sometimes with them inside.
In this novel the Guy Montag is married to his wife Mildred who is basically a emotionless, empty soul that has no meaning and never questions her surroundings. Montag rarely ever talks to her and instead meets a young woman named Clarisse and she, like Montag, asks questions and thinks for herself. They eventually build up a good friendship and talk about nature and the future of their society, but Clarisse get hit by a speeding car and dies which makes Montag question his job and his life. Shortly after that Montag stops showing up to work and the Captain shows up at his house and Guy's wife rats on him that he was hoarding and reading books he found in previous houses he has burned. The Captain then makes Montag burn down his house but he turns around and burns the Captain to ashes and knocks out the other firemen. Montag finally makes his final escape to St. Louis to meet Faber, a retired printer, and together and their crew of intellictuals, they plan on rebuilding civilization with books.