Society Without Literature

Topics: Fahrenheit 451, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Dystopia Pages: 6 (979 words) Published: January 5, 2013
Many people may not think that literature has a big impact on society, but

it does. In the two novels, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 1984 by George Orwell,

the two societies were able to survive without any literature but that causes people to be

narrow minded and didn’t think too much. If literature was taken away from society,

there wouldn’t be people who think out side the box and find the deeper meanings in the

writings they read.

According to, one of the definitions of literature is, “writings in

which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest,

are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays”.

Some writings like street signs or the plumber’s manual wouldn’t be considered

literature, but things like a novel or a poem would. It may seem like literature is just a

bunch of nonsense, but really there’s a meaning behind everything. In Fahrenheit 451,

Montag reads to Millie but she doesn’t seem to understand what is being said, “He read a

dozen pages here or there…Mildred sat across the hall from him. ‘What does it mean? It

doesn’t mean anything!” (Bradbury 68). Reading something only one time won’t help

you grasp any knowledge from it unless you read it a few more times. It may not make

sense after reading it once but after a while things just start coming together. In the

society of 1984, Winston learns the saying of St. Clement’s that goes, “Oranges and

lemons, say the bells of St. Clement’s, You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St.

Martin’s” (Orwell 83). This saying or poem is qualified as literature but it is not

welcomed in the society.

A person who thinks they can survive without literature isn’t very bright because

they don’t understand how much of an impact it is. The individual would most likely

state the obvious and won’t take the effort to explore the different meanings within the

writing. Someone, like Mrs. Bowles from Fahrenheit 451, believes that literature is just a

bunch of mush that doesn’t mean anything, as she states, “Silly word, silly words, silly

awful words. Why do people want to hurt people? Not enough hurt in the world, you got

to tease people with stuff like that!” (Bradbury 101). Literature is not just a bunch of silly

words that are meant to hurt people, it’s a way to experience the world in a whole new

way and it helps individuals to express themselves freely. It would be nice to read

something that would be understandable and easy to comprehend such as Winston in this

section of the book, “This book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a

sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said what he

would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It

was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more

systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived are those that tell you what you

know already" (Orwell 200). Being able to understand a piece of writing that has been

read will benefit someone who wants to think deeper of the actual meanings of the words.

While some people dislike literature, Faber, a character from the novel Fahrenheit 451,

cherishes literature and teaches Montag the importance of having it by asking questions

such as, “Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have

quality. And what does quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores”

(Bradbury 83). The quality of the books is literature which makes both the book and the

knowledge in the book important. Overall, the individual would be less open minded and

a bit reserved without literature being present.

Society would have an army of dim wits without any literature. In 1984, there is

not permanent...
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