All books have one thing in common: Theme. In Fahrenheit 451, books are burned and against the law. Guy Montag, a curious fireman who burns books, is taught some important things about life by a mysterious girl named Clarisse. When she disappears, Montag is forced to take the matter into his own hands. In the novel, Ray Bradbury discusses many themes. The three main themes were: Conformity vs. Individuality, Freedom of Speech and the Consequences of Losing It, and The Importance of Remembering and Understanding History.
Governments receive their power from the people, and conformity is a source of power. In Fahrenheit 451, there is much more conformity than individuality. The story’s government tries to control society through mindless entertainment. This leaves people in a state of ignorance and they do not realize the government's control and brainwashing.
If the society had books and education, the government would lose control. There are only a few people, such as Montag and Faber, who haven’t been brainwashed by society. Those few individualists have the potential to overthrow the government. Clarisse, for example, does not enjoy brainlessly watching television. Instead, Clarisse prefers to, "Smell things and look at things and sometimes, stay up all night, walking, and watch the sunrise," (pg 7). People like Clarisse, who have individuality, are considered threats to the government.
Montag lives in a world that represses freedom of speech. Any new ideas or philosophy though reading is illegal. Free speech means tolerating dissent, and dissent can cause revolution and rebellion.
No one in society knew the importance of history. All they cared about was television and radio. Firemen burned books, but they weren’t told a specific reason why. But the real question was this: “Why were books banned in the first place?” Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t provide a single explanation why books were banned. I think books were banned because of government. They...
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