13 quotes from Fahrenheit 451 that will make you think differently

Fahrenheit 451 published by Ray Bradbury in 1953 is arguably one of the greatest dystopian novels ever written. To see why check out some of the most awe-inspiring Fahrenheit 451 quotes from a novel guaranteed to make you think differently.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”

“It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”

“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

“I’m seventeen and I’m crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane.”

“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”

“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They’re Caeser’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, “Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal.” Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”

“The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”

“And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.”

“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.”

 

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8 replies
  1. khaaliya mohammed
    khaaliya mohammed says:

    I love these quotes, they are so inspiring to me and they help me understand the book more and understand what Ray Bradbury meant throughout the book and how he used his metaphors.

    Reply
  2. Captain James Cook Loomis
    Captain James Cook Loomis says:

    Ray Bradbury gave a talk at Culver High School where I taught math in ’67 – AFTER my DROPPING OUT OF A FULL-RIDE PH.D IN ARTIFICIAl Intelligence At the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in ’62 – and I got to thank him for creating the Hobo characters who memorized the great poetry of the world and quoted poems and kept culture alive in their own minds and shared it with the world when there were interested listeners; and that I had memorized 8 hours while living on my changing summer vacation houseboat at Catalina Island so I could be a common\-8-hour-working-man wherever I was – tools getting sharper in my head everyday- while I devised a way to avert Humanity’s automated Lemming-like plunge over the cliff denoting the 6th global extinction event: the first one caused by a creature that evolved on earth.
    The facts had been clear in 1945 … if you had Global Thinker friends like Bob, that I was blessed with. And Like My Mom and Dad- who wanted me to question President-general-Eisenhower as to whether his was a military take-over of Democracy? So I devised a scheme – of which BraDBURY WOULD BE PROUD: SKIP ALL THE MILLION OF NORMAL STEPS IN BETWEEN AND GO DIRECTLY TO WASHINGTON WITH MY DAD’S BURNING QUESTION WITH MY 8 HOURS OF BRADBURY INSPIRED POETRY. EISENHOWER WAS UNAVAILABLE THAT DAY – TWO OCEANLINERS HAD COLLIDED AND HIS TRUSTED ADVISOR HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN “THE VICUNA COAT SCANDAL”, AND MY PENNILESS TRAVELING TROUBADOUR FRIEND MIKE AND I WERE ESCORTED INTO VICE PRESIDENT’S NIXON OFFICE WHERE HE CHOSE 4 CHAPTERS WHICH I QUOTED. WISH RAY HAD LIVED TO SEE WHAT HIS FICTIONALIZED CHARACTER HAD INSPIRED IN MY WINNING THE MAUI WRITER’S CONFERENCE CONTEST DOCUMENTING MY GLOBAL MERRY PRANKSTER ECO-CAPERS. SAVINGTHECOSMOSTILTUESDAY.COM

    Reply
    • Bryan
      Bryan says:

      The different versions of the book have very different page numbers. I know this from a while back when I read the book in my high school class and we al had different books and it didn’t work out to well.

      Reply

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