Favorite quotes from Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'
June 6th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Favorite quotes from Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'

Ray Bradbury, science fiction author of classics like "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" died Tuesday night at the age of 91. His books and short stories sparked a devoted fan following over the years.

"Fahrenheit 451," published in 1953, was Bradbury's novel on censorship, and the defiance needed to defeat it. Readers discovered the object of censorship through his protagonist, Guy Montag, who was a fireman with a simple job: Burning books.

Montag never questioned why books or the houses where they were found should be burned, until he met a 17-year-old girl and a professor, who told of a past where people were not afraid and a future where people could think, according to Bradbury's web site.

The story is a favorite of fans, and the quotes remain relevant today.

On Bradbury's site, there was a message board post that asked fans about their favorite quotes from the book, and why.

The post began with a quote from Capt. Beatty, Montag's boss, a man who once loved books, only to turn his back on them.

“Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries of more.”

"It's my favorite quote because it is a perfect example of how life in Fahrenheit 451 is" user sexybeasttrio3 wrote.

Others that tied closely to the book's themes followed suit. These quotes were mentioned multiple times.

"The sun burnt everyday. It burnt Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the firemen and the sun burnt time, that meant that everything burnt."  - Montag

Another quote from Montag: "When you've nothing to lose, you run any risk you want."

"Books were only one type of receptacle where we started a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical about them at all. The magic is only with what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment." - Professor Faber

On his blog, fan Joshua Longbrake shared one of his favorite quotes from the book: “You’re afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people’s faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”

"Ray Bradbury gets it," he wrote in response.

The blog Sorry Television also posted a list of favorite quotes from the book, her favorite of all time, to commemorate Bradbury's passing, including the quote that Longbrake shared.

CNN.com commenter Schrodingerbill shared a quote in the comments for Bradbury's obituary.

"'The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.'
~ from Fahrenheit 451

Rest well, Mr. Bradbury."

Do you have a favorite quote or memory of "Fahrenheit 451"? Please share with us in the comments below or on CNN iReport.

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Filed under: Ray Bradbury
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. falliblefact

    Rest In Peace Mr. Bradbury!! May your messages live on through the centuries...

    June 7, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Potrzebie

    I saw "Fahrenheit 451" once in the late 70's at this kind of divey bar that was in the college town where I grew up. The bar had a big screen TV in the back room. So it's playing in this huge room where people are eating, having some pitchers, talking. When the movie ended, everyone applauded.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ryan Jaeckel

    I've been a long time fan of Bradbury's work. He managed to capture limitless imagination in the confines of his books and short stories. Even some of his most "out there" science fiction stories revealed a very real, tangible, human element. Nestled within his epic "Fahrenheit 451" or "The Martian Chronicles" exist important commentaries on our post WWII societies. He could write about anything and make it witty, introspective, fantastical, and ultimately timeless. Its a damn shame about his passing, but he leaves behind a wondrous legacy for generations to come. I imagine right now he's at the most interesting chapter of his life, when the soul leaves the body and continues onward...

    June 7, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joshua

    He will be missed. His passing is unfortunate, but more-so that he lived to see a time when his predictions about our post-modern society had come true. We are stuffed full of facts, non-combustible data, but we really don't "know" anything like we used to.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bill Campbell

    Douglas Spaulding is freed, running across the fresh cut grass with his new tennis shoes flashing in the sun.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cisco Orange County

    Thank you for the good writeup. It if truth be told was once a entertainment account it. Glance advanced to far delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

    September 8, 2012 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
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