Fahrenheit 451 was written in 1953 by Ray Bradbury and is one of few timeless reads that has been interpreted in films since its publication, the interpretation which will be mentioned in comparison to the novel is that of François Truffaut’s film of 1966 which happened to be fourteen years after Bradbury’s novel was published. The two share storylines share many similarities but also a few differences too, as most movies aren’t able to incorporate all details of a novel in an amount of time to keep the viewer interested, producers often find ways to eliminate what they feel is uneventful to produce a ‘better’ film for the targeted audience.
The novel of Fahrenheit 451 included multiple characters Who played vital roles in the novel including Guy Montag, Mildred, Clarisse, Beatty, Faber, and the mechanical hound. The movie though, did not include some of those vital characters who played key roles throughout the novel and enabled characters to grow throughout the story told by Bradbury. Some suspicion of the lack of characters is due to the fact that lessons in which were taught by these characters that were not included may have not pertained to the targeted audience or the society of the time as nearly a decade and a half had passed since the release of the novel and the movie.
Both storylines tackle the idea of total government control and censorship on education. The main idea Bradberry portrayed through his novel is still very evident through the movie and the main idea of censorship by government is very well alive too, the characters and their society in both have forgotten their histories and have allowed themselves to become victims of propaganda as well.
In Truffaults film, actress Julie Christie plays both Mildred (Linda in the film) and Clarisse. When looking at this casting decision, belief that Frances Truffault purposefully chose to do so to show the viewers that although the two women are drastically different in their beliefs, Montag continuously seeks signs of Clarisse’s personality in his own wife. Montag, is not focused on their physical appearance; he’s instead trying to find the internal wisdom and soul of the two women, very similar to his attitude in Bradbury’s novel in a sense.
Sadly, Clarisse doesn’t make it through Bradbury’s novel as she dies when Montag starts to understand her. However, in the film, Clarisse survives and becomes his role model to Guy, appearing to take the place of Faber who was the original teaching figure to Montag in the novel. She is the character who guides Montag to the book people hiding in the woods outside the city and teaches him what he seeks to know about the books.
In Bradbury’s novel, the mechanical Hound represented a government control of technology. Mentioned in the story, dogs had originally served as the rescuers for firemen, helping search and rescue and helping to put out fires. They were given the job of searching out the injured or weak. The Hound was then made into a watchdog of society, sniffing out those who were suspected to have books or obtaining information. The film left the hound out, appearing to mask that idea of corruption within the fire service.


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