How does Bradbury manage to get the reader's attention in his first sentece?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The first sentence of this exciting and disturbing vision of dystopia runs as follows: "It was a pleasure to burn." Indeed, this is the first paragraph of the novel, which serves to emphasise and make its content stand out. We associate burning with destruction, arson, crime and violence, and thus we have our assumptions challenged by this opening remark, which intrigues us and encourages us to read on and find out who is saying this and what they specifically mean by burning and what they are burning.

Interestingly as well, it maybe appeals to our more savage side - we all love a good bonfire, and perhas this opener plays with our repressed pyromania and invites and even encourages us to dwell on our love of fire and the sight of a book being burnt... But maybe this is just a boy thing!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial