35 Fahrenheit 451 Quotes About Society With Page Numbers

Fahrenheit 451 presents a future society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn anything found.

The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman who questions his societal role and comes to rebel against it.

In the following quotes, Bradbury speaks to the power of books and their ability to make us think critically about the world around us.

Fahrenheit 451 Quotes With Page Numbers

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Fahrenheit 451 Quotes About Society: Part 1: The Hearth and the Salamander

“Have you ever watched the jet cars race on the boulevards…? I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly…If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! He’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Clarisse McClellan), Page 6

Clarisse McClellan Quotes From Fahrenheit 451


“There are too many of us, he thought. There are billions of us and that’s too many. Nobody knows anyone. Strangers come and violate you. Strangers come and cut your heart out. Strangers come and take your blood. Good God, who were those men? I never saw them before in my life!”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Montag’s thoughts as the narrator), Page 14


“You’re not like the others. I’ve seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that. The others would walk off and leave me talking. Or threaten me. No one has time any more for anyone else. You’re one of the few who put up with me. That’s why I think it’s so strange you’re a fireman, it just doesn’t seem right for you, somehow.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Clarisse McClellan), Page 21

Fahrenheit 451 Fire Quotes And Page Numbers


“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”
“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Characters: Guy Montag and Clarisse McClellan), Page 26

Guy Montag Quotes With Page Numbers


“Why aren’t you in school? I see you every day wandering around.”

“Oh, they don’t miss me,” she said. “I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this.” She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. “Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don’t think it’s social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That’s not social to me at all. It’s a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it’s wine when it’s not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can’t do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball. Or go out in the cars and race on the streets, trying to see how close you can get to lampposts, playing ‘chicken’ and ‘knock hubcaps.’ I guess I’m everything they say I am, all right. I haven’t any friends. That’s supposed to prove I’m abnormal. But everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another. Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Characters: Guy Montag and Clarisse McClellan), Page 27


“But most of all, I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and look at them and listen to them. I just want to figure out who they are and what they want and where they are going. Sometimes I even go to Fun parks and ride in the jet cars when they race on the edge of town at midnight and the police don’t care as long as they’re insured. As long as everyone has ten thousand insurance everyone’s happy. Sometimes I sneak around and listen in subways. Or I listen at soda fountains, and do you know what? People don’t talk about anything.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Clarisse McClellan), Page 28


“And me not sleeping tonight or tomorrow night or any night for a long while, now that this has started. And he thought of her lying on the bed with the two technicians standing straight over her, not bent with concern, but only standing straight, arms folded. And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn’t cry. For it would be the dying of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was suddenly so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at death but at the thought of not crying at death, a silly empty man near a silly empty woman, while the hungry snake made her still more empty.

How do you get so empty? he wondered. Who takes it out of you? And that awful flower the other day, the dandelion! It had summed up everything, hadn’t it? ‘What a shame! You’re not in love with anyone!’ And why not?”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Montag’s thoughts as the narrator), Page 41


“And the uncles, the aunts, the cousins, the nieces, the nephews, that lived in those walls, the gibbering pack of tree apes that said nothing, nothing, nothing and said it loud, loud, loud.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society, ignorance (Character: Montag’s thoughts as the narrator), Page 41


“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Characters: Guy Montag to Mildred), Page 49

Mildred Montag Quotes With Page Numbers


“More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun and you don’t have to think, eh? Organize and organize and superorganize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 54

Fahrenheit 451 Quotes About Books With Page Numbers


“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive. And the three-dimensional sex-magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 55

Fahrenheit 451 Quotes About Censorship And Page Numbers


“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 55


“With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 55

Captain Beatty Quotes With Page Numbers


“The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That’s why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 57


“She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why…. Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen often.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Pages 57, 58


“Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 58


“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Captain Beatty), Page 58


“No front porches. My uncle says there used to be front porches. And people sat there sometimes at night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, and not talking when they didn’t want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thought about things, turned things over. My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn’t look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn’t want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong KIND of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Montag’s thoughts told by the narrator), Page 60

Important Fahrenheit 451 Quotes Meaning Explained


Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand

“How in hell did those bombers get up there every single second of our lives! Why doesn’t someone want to talk about it! We’ve started and won two atomic wars since 2022! Is it because we’re having so much fun at home we’ve forgotten the world? Is it because we’re so rich and the rest of the world’s so poor and we just don’t care if they are? I’ve heard rumors; the world is starving, but we’re well fed. Is it true, the world works hard and we play? Is that why we’re hated so much? I’ve heard the rumors about hate too, once in a long while, over the years. Do you know why? I don’t, that’s sure! Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damn insane mistakes!”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Guy Montag), Page 70


“Christ is one of the ‘family’ now. I often wonder if God recognizes his own son the way we’ve dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He’s regular peppermint stick now, all sugar crystal and saccharine – when he isn’t making veiled references to certain commercial products that ever worshiper absolutely needs.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Faber), Page 77

Profesor Faber Quotes With Page Numbers


“Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going a long time back. I said nothing. I am one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to the ‘guilty,’ but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Profesor Faber), Page 78


“Nobody listens anymore. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me, I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it’ll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Guy Montag), Page 78


“So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless. We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Faber), Page 79


“Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Faber), Page 84


“How’re your children, Mrs. Phelps?’ he asked.

‘You know I haven’t any! No one in his right mind, the good Lord knows, would have children!’ said Mrs. Phelps, not quite sure why she was angry with this man.

‘I wouldn’t say that,’ said Mrs. Bowles. ‘I’ve had TWO children by Caesarian section. No use going through all that agony for a baby. The world must reproduce, you know, the race must go on. Besides, they sometimes look just like you, and that’s nice. Two Caesarians turned the trick, yes, sir. Oh, my doctor said, Caesarians aren’t necessary; you’ve got the hips for it, everything’s normal, but I INSISTED.’

‘Caesarians or not, children are ruinous; you’re out of your mind,’ said Mrs. Phelps.
‘I plunk the children in school nine days out of ten. I put up with them when they come home three days a month; it’s not bad at all. You heave them into the ‘parlor’ and turn the switch. It’s like washing clothes: stuff laundry in and slam the lid.’ Mrs. Bowles tittered. ‘They’d just as soon kick as kiss me. Thank God, I can kick back!”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Characters: Montag, Mrs. Phelps, and Mrs. Bowles), Pages 92, 93


“If there were no war, if there was peace in the world, I’d say fine, have fun! But, Montag, you mustn’t go back to being just a fireman. All isn’t well with the world.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Profesor Faber), Page 100


“But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Faber), Page 104


“Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it’s up to you to know with which ear you’ll listen.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Faber), Page 104


Part 3: Burning Bright

“This is happening to me,” said Montag.

“What a dreadful surprise,” said Beatty. “For everyone nowadays knows, absolutely is certain, that nothing will ever happen to me. Others die, I go on. There are no consequences and no responsibilities. Except that there are. But let’s not talk about them, eh? By the time the consequences catch up with you, it’s too late, isn’t it, Montag?”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Characters: Montag and Captain Beatty), Pages 109, 110


“The river was mild and leisurely, going away from the people who ate shadows for breakfast and steam for lunch and vapors for supper.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Montag’s thoughts as the narrator), Page 133

Fahrenheit 451 Quotes About Knowledge 

“Better to keep it in the old heads, where no one can see it or suspect it. We are all bits and pieces of history and literature and international law. Byron, Tom Paine, Machiavelli, or Christ, it’s here. And the hour’s late. And the war’s begun. And we are out here, and the city is there, all wrapped up in its own coat of a thousand colors… All we want to do is keep the knowledge we think we will need intact and safe. We’re not out to incite or anger anyone yet. For if we are destroyed, the knowledge is dead, perhaps for good… Right now we have a horrible job; we’re waiting for the war to begin and, as quickly, end. It’s not pleasant, but then we’re not in control, we’re the odd minority crying in the wilderness. When the war’s over, perhaps we can be of some use in the world.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Granger), Page 145

15 Granger Quotes From Fahrenheit 451


“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society, ignorance (Character: Granger), Page 146


“And when the war’s over, someday, some year, the books can be written again, the people will be called in, one by one, to recite what they know and we’ll set it up in type until another Dark Age, when we might have to do the whole damn thing over again. But that’s the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth doing.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Granger), Pages 146, 147


“We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And someday we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steam shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, about society (Character: Granger), Pages 157


What does Fahrenheit 451 teach us about society?

Fahrenheit 451 teaches us that knowledge and free speech are essential to a free-thinking society. The novel warns us about the dangers of censorship, ignorance, and the distractions created by technology that can lead to a society devoid of humanity and genuine human relationships.

Fahrenheit 451 Quotes About Technology 


How does Montag view society?

Montag is angered by the state of society and its progress. He realizes what is wrong with society and tries to fix it. Montag is one of the few who sees the truth of society.

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