Structure and content
The title of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 refers to a temperature specification in the temperature unit Fahrenheit, named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. In the U.S., Fahrenheit is the official unit of temperature measurement, unlike in other countries where Celsius is the unit of measurement. 451 degrees Fahrenheit corresponds to a temperature of approximately 232 degrees Celsius. This is the ignition temperature of paper, which means that at a heat of 232 degrees Celsius, paper begins to burn.
In the society described in the novel, a million books have been banned because they are considered the cause of all human unhappiness. People who own banned books are often denounced and then punished. Their houses are burned along with the books. So the title refers to the book burnings in history.
Another word for “fireman”is “firefighter”, which is now used more often. The word "firefighter" clearly indicates someone who fights fire (to fight). But Ray Bradbury did not call the job "firefighter", but "fireman" - because this can be both a fireman and a man who sets fires.
The first section of the novel Fahrenheit 451 contains a short introduction. It describes a firefighting operation from the perspective of the main character, Guy Montag. It is not yet mentioned that he is a fireman, but it is described that he wears a helmet and that he sprays kerosene on a house with a jet pipe, then sets it on fire and wa...