No, but I think it is a wake-up call for those of us who read and think to guard our academic and intellectual freedoms. While the idea of state-controlled firemen going about burning books and houses in addition to imprisoning social deviants is a bit far fetched, isn't there a little truth to the message? Maybe it's allegorical in some senses... what do firemen represent? Do we know some people who would rather discard or ban a different idea or a notion that conflicts with tradition, than to attempt to understand it and render a good debate against it?
I think one of the most beautiful parts of the book is the empty rhetoric which which the captain argues against Montague... suggesting that because books contain contraditions, they should all be banned. Montague sees through it, and while tempted to think about the argument, finds the strength through curiosity and determination to push on in his quest for knowledge.
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is written under the genre of science fiction, but specifically describes a dystopia, or anti-utopia, or a world gone wrong. Typically such novels incorporate the concept of a totalitarian state, in which the government runs all aspects of existence, and any aspect or expression of individuality is considered a crime. Like many works of science fiction, this one provides a warning of what the future may be like, although many agree that the anti-utopian works written in the mid 20th century were inspired by the totalitarian political systems of Nazism and Communism. Frequently the use of technology is perverted; what aspects of the novel can you find in our culture today?
Is Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 a realistic description of the world?
No it's not. And it is not supposed to be. It is supposed to be a terrifying vision of an apocalyptic future. In order to highlight the dangers of technology, dictatorship and anti-intellectualism, Bradbury shows us a world of extremes. His vision is not real, but it contains elements of truth which relate to our society and the future of our society.
451 is not real, but The Homeland Security Bill is.
451 is not real, but the rise of unthinking religious fundamentalism is.
451 is not real but Guantanamo Bay is.