Fahrenheit 451

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There is No Tomorrow Without Yesterday:
Social Commentary Essay on Fahrenheit 451

Society is a dynamic compilation of ideas and people that is always changing, growing, and developing. Usually as the future becomes the present, people grow more intelligent and as a whole the human race progresses. In the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, this is not the case. The story follows a man by the name of Guy Montag as he searches for answers in a world where asking questions can be deadly. Guy lives in a society where books are burned and thinking is socially unacceptable. Because Montag is a firefighter he assists the government in ridding the country of books. He knows something is missing but he isn’t sure what the missing puzzle piece is until he meets a young girl named Clarisse Mclellan. Clarisse is not in his life for long but she has a great impact on Montag by provoking him to think. By asking him questions she allows him to look deep within himself and realize he is in a loveless relationship, a terrible, guilt-racking job, and he doesn’t know what is right or wrong. Through a series of important events Montag is able to learn how to read and understand, and in the end is ready to help work towards a brighter tomorrow, learning from the past. In the novel Bradbury uses his characters to say that society is becoming a body of ignorant people who are lacking the ability to love, the ability to express opinions because political correctness squanders all controversy, and lacking intellect as well.

Through the relationships of Mrs. Phelps and Clarisse, Bradbury criticizes the lack of real relationships in modern society. For instance on page 95 Mrs. Phelps speaks of her husband’s death with a frightening nonchalance. She says, “Anyway, Pete and I always said no tears, nothing like that. It’s our third marriage each and we are independent. ‘Be independent,’ he always said ‘If I get killed off you just go right ahead and don’t cry, but get married...