Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” Quotes (77 Quotes)


    Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.

    I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane.



    What is there about fire that's so lovely? ...it's perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out. What is fire? It's a mystery...its real beauty that it destroys responsibilities and consequences.a problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it.


    For everyone nowadays knows, absolutely is CERTAIN, that nothing bad 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 to you, it's too late, isn't it, Montag?


    Remember, Montag, we're the happiness boys. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought.

    There are many actors alone who haven't acted Pirandello or Shaw or Shakespeare for years because their plays are too aware of the world. We could use their anger. And we could use the honest rage of those historians who haven't written a line for forty years. True, we might form classes in thinking and reading.

    Where's your common sense? None of those books agree with each other. You've been locked up here for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel. Snap out of it! The people in those books never lived. Come on now!

    For if we're destroyed, the knowledge is dead...We're nothing more than dust jackets for books...so many pages to a person...

    In the morning he would not have needed sleep, for all the warm odors and sights of a complete country night would have rested and slept him while his eyes were wide and his mouth, when he thought to test it, was half a smile.


    There must be something in books, something we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing.

    You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl's better off dead



    See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security.


    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.

    Have you ever watched the jet cars race on the boulevard?...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.


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


    You're peculiar, you're aggravating, yet you're easy to forgive. You say you're seventeen?..How odd. How strange. And my wife thirty and yet you seem so much older at times. I can't get over it.

    He lay far across the room from her, on a winter island separated by an empty sea. She talked to him for what seemed a long while and she talked about this and she talked about that and it was only words, like the words he had heard once in a nursery at a friend's house, a two-year-old child building word patters, like jargon, making pretty sounds in the air.

    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.


    These are all novels, all about people that never existed, the people that read them it makes them unhappy with their own lives. Makes them want to live in other ways they can never really be.


    It doesn't matter what you do...so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.

    So it was the hand that started it all . . . His hands had been infected, and soon it would be his arms . . . His hands were ravenous.

    They read the long afternoon through, while the cold November rain fell from the sky upon the quiet house.

    He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him. There would always be more than enough.

    Last night I thought about all the kerosene I've used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I'd never even thought that thought before...It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I come along in two minutes and boom! it's all over.

    Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and keeping, one way or another, in books, in records, in people's heads, any way at all so long as it was safe, free from moths, silverfish, rust and dry rot and men with matches.



    He was part of us and when he died all the actions stopped dead, and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. i've never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million actions the night he passed on.



    This was all he wanted now. Some signs that the immense world would accept him and give him the long time he needed to think all the things that must be thought.

    And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I'd never even thought that thought before.


    Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damm insane mistakes!

    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 the doing.

    To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. Yes.

    And sometimes, I tell them, I like to put my head back, like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth. It tastes just like wine. Have you ever tried it?


    Montag, falling flat, going down, saw or felt, or imagined he saw or felt the walls go dark in Millie's face, heard her screaming, because in the millionth part of time left, she saw her own face reflected there, in a mirror instead of a crystal ball, and it was such a wildly empty face, all by itself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating of itself, that at last she recognized it was her own...


    More Ray Bradbury Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Books - World - Time - Thought & Thinking - Life - Night - Mind - People - Man - Death & Dying - Majority & Minority - Love - Idea - God - Education - Morning - Science - Tyranny & Despotism - Imagination & Visualization - View All Ray Bradbury Quotations

    More Ray Bradbury Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Dandelion Wine
    - Fahrenheit 451
    - Something Wicked This Way Comes
    - The Martian Chronicles

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