Why does the book "Fahrenheit 451" end as it does?

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The book ends as it does because Bradbury has made his point about the emptiness of life without books and the destruction nad repression that can occur when people's primary motivation in life is pleasure and entertainment. He has shown the emptiness of life through the character of Clarisse. All she is interested in is her TV family and has no real relationships. Thus, she turns to suicide and almost succeeds. The irony is crystal clear when all authorities do is send medics to the house because suicide attempts are so common in this empty society, the medics know all about dealing with it. Bradbury has also shown the lengths people will go to protect books. People like the old woman, Carisse, and the forest people all risk their lives to protect the stories and ideas only books can reveal. Once he has shown that a society based on pleasure and the destruction of books is meaningless, he destroys that society and allows for people who cherish books to start rebuilding a new society. That way he can offer hope at the end instead of just a sad warning to society today.

ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bradbury ends "Fahrenheit 451" with a hope and faith in a better future.  The town has been flattened by bombs, but the books of history, faith, fantasy, and all genres live in in the "book people.

"They plan to pass this knowledge onto their children and wait until society needs that knowledge again. They don't have long to wait because several bombs hit the city while they are hiking that day. After weathering the shock waves from the blast, they turn back; civilization needs them. On the way, Montag begins to remember Ecclesiastes." 

By ending this novel with the destruction of the city and the world as they knew it, Bradbury is give the idea that changes are coming and this civilization will change and grow, and rebuild like the mythical phoenix to which Granger refers.

"A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak," Montag thinks as the book people move up the river at the end of the story. "

enote1322 | Student

Bradbury ends Farenheit 451 with a hint of hope and faith in the future.It promises us that a new era is going to begin.The promise is of a better world in the future, a world where people are allowed to think and speak and have their own ideas. People will stop destroying books and start reading them.

Throughout the book Bradbury tries to explain how meaningless and empty lfe is without books , through Montague's wife Mildred.She is like an empty vessel she cares about nothing but her daily soaps.Her attempt to suicide shows us that she knows that her life is shallow and not worth living.At the end of the book,we are introduced to more characters like Carisse and Montague who want to bring about a change in this hollow way of life and we know that Montague's life will not be easier but his life now, has aim and inspiration. 

At the end of the novel, Montag recalls the biblical passage, "To everything there is a season.  A time to break down, a time to build up."  The time for destruction has ended; the time for rebirth has begun.