Albert Einstein: The locksmith of the Universe (Final Draft)
In the novel Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury alludes to Einstein and his free thinking. Einstein was a physicist, professor, and mathematician, theorizing relative theory and working on quantum mechanics. In 1941 the U.S government launched the Manhattan project for the possibility of building atomic weapons. Einstein had joined and worked on a team that developed the H- bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. But Einstein had political divide with the government’s use of nuclear arms saying ” Our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire, forging the most dangerous weapon of all known up to his time”. Alluding this to Fahrenheit 451 Clarisse McClellan was a free thinker of her time and because of that being known by society as crazy. While people are wrapped up concerning only about new and future technology, she she’s how in the past what lessons we should have learned from previous generations but instead simply forgotten and destroyed by the firefighters who used to put of fires, now they set fires. In the quote earlier, Einstein made reference to Alfred Nobel who at the time created dynamite with the intention of creating a weapon so powerful that countries would fear to use it and world peace would be imminent. Since past Alfred Nobel’s time dynamite is a dangerous explosive that is more of a weapon of destruction, unlike its original intended use. Here Einstein is in a similar situation as Nobel. A weapon that is so powerful to be used for peace, but it will create more destruction in the future. Here Bradbury sets a time in the future that nuclear weapons like these are the standard in all wars, bringing destruction to the world and an antagonist of peace.
Bradbury’s allusion to Albert Einstein is important to the message of the novel by reminding the reader that society ‘forgets’ history and past lessons learned and the development of greatly improved technology gives us the false sense of security that mistakes like those by past generations cannot happen again. We see this over and over in the real world and the book Fahrenheit 451 though written in the fifties, can very closely relate to the situation today and maybe tomorrow. If we have thinkers like Einstein or Clarisse in our society, rather than those that follow the crowd word peace can be achieved without the use of weapons, but with minds.
Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds. New York: Basic Books, 1993.
Isaacson, Walter. Einstein: His life and Universe. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007.