Historical Reference

Topics: Fahrenheit 451, Dystopia, Ray Bradbury Pages: 2 (752 words) Published: January 23, 2013
Historical Recurrence
"A favorite theory of mine to wit, that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often”(Twain). This quote from a famous writer, Mark Twain, talks about how he believes that history can and does repeat itself. Mark is saying that everything takes place for a reason and has occurred sometime before in history. This idea of history repeating itself is present throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The book is about a dystopian society where firemen actually light fires to burn precious books. In this society, the majority of the people believe that books are worthless and that every book should be burnt to ashes. The people of this society do not think for themselves and in many cases hardly think at all. Throughout Fahrenheit 451 many events occur that have also occurred sometime in our society, which parallels the theme of history repeating itself between the book and our society.

While book burning is usually associated with Nazi Germany, its roots actually extend far back into the ancient times. For example in 212 BC, the Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti burned all the books in his kingdom so that history might begin with him (Freedom to Read). In 460 AD Omar the caliph ordered for over 200,000 volumes in the library of Alexandria to be burnt in a vast bonfire (Mullins). Then in 1933 in Nazi Germany, enormous bonfires spread across Berlin burning thousands of books (Schwartz). "Do you ever read any of the books you burn?" He laughed. That's against the law! Oh. Of course" (Bradbury 8). This quote from Fahrenheit 451 shows that in this society books are never in any circumstances read. These illustrations indicate how book burning is not a onetime thing and that it first started with government restriction.

Likewise in Fahrenheit 451 before the books are burned to ashes, the leaders in the government restrict or censor certain material, which is also...
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