Freedom of Thought in Fahrenheit 451

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Freedom of thought is taken for granted in today’s society, but in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, society works differently. This freedom, or lack thereof, is not recognized until fireman, Guy Montag, proves to himself that thoughts are important. Through a maze of censorship and curiosity, Montag faces his government because of his interest in books. This book shows that everybody should have the right to think freely because it eases curiosity, promotes creativity and imagination, and encourages beliefs.

Curiosity can become an obsession if it is not controlled. Montag becomes a puppet of his own curiosity, and as a result, he faces consequences unexpected by himself or anybody around him. Beatty, the cruel fire chief, even knows that “every fireman, sooner or later hits this,” or becomes curious about books (Bradbury 83). Even when Montag realizes that his inquiry can hurt his wife, Millie, he still continues to search for answers because he believes it to be the right thing to do for himself and the best thing for his city. His downfall directly affects everybody close to him. All people should have the right to be curious, but if thoughts were not controlled there would be fewer relationship problems and less confusion.

Another reason freedom of thought is important is that it promotes creativity and imagination. This unique individuality is what makes a person who they are and what role they play in society. The people in society are much like books, so books are a symbol of people. A book has qualities that makes it different just as a person is made different by their own individuality. Therefore, “there must be something in books [people], things we can’t imagine” that makes an individual their own person (Bradbury 81). Imagination and free thought go hand in hand in similarity. This imagination, or free thought, is creativity; therefore, freedom of thought is important to individuality and society.

In one case, Bradbury speaks of a woman who...
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