The theme of Ray Bradbury's classic Fahrenheit 451 can be viewed from several different angles. First and foremost, the book gives an anti-censorship message. Bradbury understood censorship to be a natural outcropping of an overly tolerant society. Yet, the protagonist Guy Montag is one of the few that is courageous enough to find out the truth for himself. This unexpected discovery on the corruption of society challenged traditional values, knowledge and beliefs. The personal freedom to the right of an individual having the freedom of expression when he utilizes the issue of censorship in Fahrenheit 451.
In Bradbury's novel, society has evolved to such an extreme that all literature is illegal to possess. Because of the trouble books may cause, they were banned altogether. For example, one group might think they had a really great idea and wrote it in a book, however, the other group might object to something that has been written, that means the book will have to be modified and therefore censorship begins. Soon, another group objects to something else in the book, and it is again edited, eventually the original product will be lost. Because of this presented danger, no longer can books be read, not only because they might offend someone, but because books raise questions for the people that the government cannot answer. The intellectual thinking that comes from knowledge can often be dangerous, yet, who would want to do that when they can take the easy route? “Ignorance is bliss” applies perfectly here. The government would rather rule the people orderly than have them start a revolution with knowledge. This philosophy, according to the book, completely ignores the benefits of knowledge. True, knowledge can cause disharmony because it causes people to ask “why”, but in many ways, knowledge of the past, which is recorded in books, can prevent mankind from making similar mistakes in the present and future.
The society envisioned in...
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