Fahrenheit 451 Research Essay

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The 1950’s were a time of fear and change which were felt by everyone. Changes like McCarthyism, censorship, automobiles and book burning influenced Ray Bradbury in the creation of Fahrenheit 451. Throughout the 1950’s American society was influenced by Joseph McCarthy and his plan to rid the country from communism. Around this time World War II had just ended and the United States was afraid that there were citizens that felt communism was acceptable. Communism is a political theory derived from Carl Marx, which leads to a society in which all property is privately owned, each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs (Wisegeek.com) .The purpose of this type of government was to create a classless society. Communism controls goods and services through government that produces only to serve people and strives to create total equality within a society. Joseph McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator in the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. McCarthy was against communism and fought dirty campaigns to hunt down communists and communist sympathizers. Joseph McCarthy influenced a belief called McCarthyism which makes accusations of disloyalty, subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. The primary targets of McCarthyism were government employees, entertainers, educators and union activists. While in the Senate, McCarthy claimed he had blacklisted 205 people in the State Department that were members of the American Communist Party, however later reduced this number to 54. Ironically, it is said that if McCarthy was screened he would have been put on the blacklist (Spartacus Educational). Throughout Fahrenheit 451 it is evident that Ray Bradbury was influenced by these factors while writing. The authority in the novel is corrupt similar to the way Joseph McCarthy was. The authority controlled the goods and services of society. As well as limited the information citizens were...