Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury. This novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen burn any house that contains them. In the novel, Ray Bradbury talks about the human experience of censorship and ignorance/knowledge.

In Fahrenheit 451, owning and reading books is illegal. If books are found, they are burned and their owner is arrested. If the owner refuses to abandon them, he or she dies, burning along with them. People are viewed as strange and possible threats when the have interests other than entertainment and technology. This society lives off of entertainment and speed through life. Advertisements, fast cars, and loud music create a society in which there is no room for works of literature, self-reflection, or appreciation of nature. Bradbury hints to the idea that different minority groups were offended by certain type of literature. For example, Beatty mentions that dog lovers were offended by book about cats, and cat lovers were offended by books about dogs. In Bradbury’s afterword to the novel, he expresses his own sensitivity of attempts to restrict his writing. He felt censored by letters sent to him suggesting that she should give better roles to women. He sees these suggestions as the first step towards censorship.

Another human experience Bradbury explores is ignorance and knowledge. Throughout the novel, the reader is presented with a conflict between knowledge and ignorance. Montag believes that knowledge fights a society that embraces and celebrates ignorance. The fireman’s job is to burn books, and therefore is destroying knowledge. Through this, the firemen promote ignorance. Montag fights against ignorance, trying to help others welcome knowledge in their lives. For example, when Montag’s wife’s friends visit, he forced them to listen to poetry. Even though they become upset, they’re able to experience emotion. Montag believes that this emotion will give these women a more...
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