Analysis of Power in Fahrenheit 451
In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the United States is portrayed as a totalitarian government in which the people are brainwashed through the destruction of literature and increased pleasure activities. During the novel, many characters fight to gain control over their lives and free themselves from the clutch of the government and the firemen. Bradbury uses the introduction of Faber and Clarisse into Guy Montag’s life to symbolize that in order to free one’s self from the destructive constraints of society and gain power over it; one must submit themselves to guidance and care.
In the beginning of the novel, Bradbury uses Clarisse to introduce the concept of going against the social norm in order to have power over society’s laws. This begins when Bradbury makes Clarisse ask Montag if he is happy, challenging him to actually think for the first time and realize that television walls and burning books leave him feeling empty. It continues throughout the novel as Montag experiences the full effect of Clarisse, and eventually begins to think and do some of the things she talks about; “He (Montag) felt his body divide into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a
hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one upon the other. ‘You’d better run on to your appointment,’ he said. And she ran off and left
him standing there in the rain. Only after a long time did he move. And then, very slowly, as he walked, he tilted his head back in the rain just for a few moments, and opened his mouth…” (Bradbury 24). In this quote Bradbury shows that as Montag gave up his power to say no to Clarisse, he was freed to accept guidance from her and experience things in life, such as tasting rain or driving slow on the freeway. Through this goes against societal norms and becomes a free individual who can think and make decisions on his own, leading him to stealing the books and killing Beatty, thus freeing himself...
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