Adam La Fleur
English 1oth Grade
November 13, 2012
What does censorship mean in the book Fahrenheit 451 and what role does it play in the society? Censorship is the suppression of speech and public communication on a society because the government thinks it is bad for their people. Ray Bradbury illustrates that the government of this time uses censorship to control their people to believe that books should be burned and that they are harmful, it is also shown that the people of the society are suppressed to the point that they are blind to the outside world and stuck watching the Televisions. The people of the society are so restrained in areas of education and are ignorant to what’s happening around them; this causes them to make mistakes such as killing someone with a car or burning someone alive like the firemen. The themes most seen in the book are censorship, education, and Ignorance; they are shown the most by the three characters of Beatty, Montag, and Faber.
The theme of Censorship is shown in different ways and it is interpreted by different characters is the book. First Beatty shows his opinion of censorship after Montag calls in sick one day and he talked about how “bad things” should be eliminated in these quotes, “Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too… Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean," (Bradbury 59-60) and “Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences. A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it. Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical." (115) From these quotes a reader can see that Beatty follows what the government said which is to eliminate books and to eliminate anyone in their way, these quotes also shown that burning is the only way that the society gets rid of their problems with things such as kerosene and incinerators, "It's fine work. Monday bum Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then bum the ashes. That's our official slogan." (8) Montag’s view on books from this quote is that they need to be burned but later he changes his mind to not burn books after thinking about all the information that they hold which was kept from them by the government. His decision to not burn books is seen in this quote, "You weren't there, you didn't see," he said. "There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing." (51) This quote illustrates Montag’s change of his views of books which is that there is someone in books that gives a person such as the woman in the house a motivation for a good cause such as books. Mr. Faber later explains his views that the society is tearing itself apart from the inside in this quote, "But that would just nibble the edges. The whole culture's shot through. The skeleton needs melting and re-shaping… Let the war turn off the families.' Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge." (87) In this quote Faber’s views of censorship are that the suppression from the government is causing ignorance, the inability to think, and the inability to make simple decisions. These inabilities lead onto things such as murder, suicide, destruction because the society and the government have chosen a path of ignorance and the lack of books. The theme of Censorship is viewed many different ways by different characters.
The theme of Education is viewed in different ways such as “Is it good” or “Is it bad” by different characters in the book. First Beatty shows his opinion of Education in this quote, “Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the...