April 14, 2008
Fahrenheit 451 in Today’s World
In the novel, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the author creates a picture of a society that resembles our present-day society in a variety of ways. Although a society in which government has total control over its citizens seems to be a little extreme, there are definitely clues that can be seen today that suggest that we are headed in the same direction. Some of the resemblances between the society in Fahrenheit 451 and our society today are the governments’ hypocrisy, the gullibility of the citizens who fully support the government, and the fact that books are becoming rather extinct due to advances in modern technology.
When the novel’s main character, Guy Montag, commits a great crime and is being searched for, a man that was thought to be Montag was killed, while the real Montag escaped successfully. Describing this situation, Ray Bradbury writes: “The camera fell upon the victim, even as did the Hound. Both reached him simultaneously. The victim was seized by the Hound and camera in a great spidering, clenching grip. He screamed. He screamed. He screamed!” (149). In this case, the government killed an innocent civilian just so that they would not be blamed for letting Montag escape. Today, there are a few instances where the government has done exactly the same thing. For example, following the September 11 attacks, the U.S. went on a search for one of its biggest enemies, Osama bin Laden. David Johnson writes in his article, Osama bin Laden, Wealthy Saudi exile is a terrorist mastermind: “Binding their fate to bin Laden's, the Taliban became the target of air strikes by the U.S. and Britain beginning in October 2002 that swiftly toppled the regime within two months. But Bin Laden, the object of the military campaign in Afghanistan, remained at large.” Many promises were made by the government that this terrorist would be found in no time. However,...