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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fahrenheit 451: Movie vs. Book


The movie Fahrenheit 451 was originally made from the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, with both the movie and the book having their similarities and differences from each other. Objects, scenes, and a few key parts from the book were not included in the movie. The producers also changed some of the names or simply didn’t include them in the movie. However the basic plot line of the book was kept through the whole movie, without too many drastic changes. Unfortunately, I was absent when the rest of the Honors English class watched the first half of the movie and am going off the last half of the movie. From the part of the movie I saw, I can say that the differences outnumber the similarities between the book and the movie.  
Some scenes, objects, and even characters underwent change when the movie remake was written. Key characters were left out in the making of the film, such as one of the larger side characters; Faber. In the book Fahrenheit 451, Faber plays an elderly retired English professor that used to worked for the last collage in existence, until it too closed. Faber helped to teach the main character, Montag, about the world of literature. By leaving out Faber, the producers cut out a couple important scenes from the book. Scenes such as when Montag escaped to his house after murdering Captain Beatty, discovering and learning the whereabouts of the book people, and receiving advice and guidance from Faber using the green bullet in Montag’s ear.The green bullet is an object Faber can use to talk to Montag, and is one of the objects the producers chose to leave out, along with The Hound and the parlor walls. Faber had given Montag the green bullet to go in his ear so he could communicate with him and hear people speaking around him or to him. Faber helped Montag to keep a clear head when he went to return one of his books to Captain Beatty at the firehouse; Beatty worked to intimidate Montag by using a made up argument between the two of them he had had in a dream. He used different quotes from famous authors from the past that contradicted themselves. This scene in the book is also one of the scenes that the movie producers failed to include. In the novel, Montag’s parlor walls were interactive televisions that took up the entire wall. They represent people’s lives becoming consumed by social media. However in the movie, instead of the three screens that covered each of the three parlor walls, the producers instead used a single semi-large flat TV mounted on the parlor wall. An important object in the book was the Hound; it was similar in characteristics to a robotic assassin, but designed to look like the old firehouse dogs firefights had had in the past. One of important roles the Hound played in Bradbury’s book is when Captain Beatty programmed the hound to send Montag a warning. Later the captain reprograms the beast to kill Montag in the case he made an attempt to escape during his last book-burning mission, which turns out to be at his own home. This is a key scene in the book because it leads to Captain Beatty’s death. The movie remake of the book fails to mention this key scene, instead going straight to the to the captain’s death. Another major death scene included in the book, however this not in the movie, was Clarissa’s death. In Fahrenheit 451 Clarissa is abruptly hit by a car, though Montag will refer back to his short time spent with her throughout the rest of the book. In the movie, she escapes when the rest of her family is arrested by the firemen on the day Montag was home sick. She eventually crosses paths with Montag again, in the end, when he finds the book people.  Characters, objects and other scenes were either excluded or changed in the movie remake of the book Fahrenheit 451.
Though the movie’s differences outnumber the similarities, the similarities to the book are still made very apparent. Characters and their roles still play back to the book’s plotline and themes, as goes for most of the scenes. Clarissa, Montag, Captain Beatty, and Mildred (or Linda, as they called her in the movie) still play the same roles. Clarissa represents the open minded; Montag played the main character; Captain Beatty’s character represented the governmental or authorial force that held control; and Mildred is an example of a model citizen of their society. Each of these four characters either played or represented these same ideas in the movie remake of Bradbury’s book. As well as characters, most of the scenes in the movie possessed similarities to those in the book. For example, in the scene of Montag’s escape from the city after murdering Captain Beatty. In the book and movie, the parlor walls or interactive television news reporters told the people to step outside their homes on a count down and look for a lone man running on the street, which would have easily been spotted as Montag. Both in the film and book, Montag escapes to the river and then stumbles upon the book people next to the railroad tracks. The novel and movie, Montag watches his own forged capture and death on live television. This is a major key scene in the book because it is where Montag discovers the book people, escapes, and sees the true corruption of their government. Fahrenheit 451 the movie and book are the same basic story, simply told by different people. They both hold major key similarities, with only numerous but small differences. 

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