The Setting of Fahrenheit 451

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The setting in Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is a very controlled and powerful atmosphere. The burning of books is a prime example of the control the government has on society. Not only does the society lack knowledge, they live in an up roaring city where your own neighbors will turn against you in a second. The controlled setting reinforces the story’s central idea that a culture can be stymied when government decides to eliminate freedom of expression and original thought. This theme is further reinforced by the cultural/historical/biographic influences of the time this book was written, specifically: the beginning of the Civil Rights movement and the McCarthy trials and communism.

In December of 1955, the Civil Rights Movement was beginning when a woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white male. The government showed an enormous agreement with the white population rather than the black. In an interview with Rosa Parks, she states, “…he wanted to know if I was going to stand up, and I told him I was not. And he told me he would have me arrested. And I told him he may do that. And of course, he did” (Parks). The severity of Parks’ crime at this point in time led to her arrest and conviction. Rosa had violated the laws of segregation, also known as the Jim Crow Laws. The lack of integration with the black and white community was becoming infuriating for the blacks. The control that the government had on society was so severe that it took much time and effort to see even the slightest change. A boycott was in discussion to finally go against the government and show that blacks and whites should be treated equally. The main concern of the people was whether the boycott would be efficient or a failure. Martin Luther King Jr. played a big role in the starting of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. An article written about this event states, “He was pleasantly surprised when bus after empty bus rolled past his house that...
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