In Bradbury's novel, society has evolved to such an extreme that all literature is illegal to possess. No longer can books be read, not only because they might offend someone, but because books raise questions that often lead to revolutions and even anarchy. The intellectual thinking that arises from reading books can often be dangerous, and the government doesn't want to put up with this danger. Yet this philosophy, according to Bradbury, completely ignores the benefits of knowledge. Yes, knowledge can cause disharmony, but inmany ways, knowledge of the past, which is recorded in books, can prevent man from making similar mistakes in the present and future. People are weak-minded; they don't want to think for themselves and solve the troubling problems of the world. It is far easier to live a life of seclusion and illusion-a life where the television is reality. Yet more importantly, Fahrenheit 451 is an anti-apathy and anti-dependence and anti-television message. People in the novel are afraid-afraid of themselves. They fear the thought of knowing, which leads them to depend of others (government) to think for them. Since they aren't thinking, they need something to occupy their time. This is where television comes in. A whole host of problems arise from television: violence, depression and even suicide. government restricting knowledge to maintain mind control over the citizens lack of intellectual freedom and the overpowering of censorship will cause a downfall in society. concentrate
society/world that revolves around being basically brain washed or programmed because of the lack of people not thinking for themselves concerning the loss of knowledge, and imagination from books that don't exist to themThinking is not a luxury that the people in Fahrenheit 451 know if our society is all the same, then that is what will soon be expected and it will eventually take our freedom from us When a person is told how to live their own lives they forget to make their own decisions and they just become another menace of technology and government manipulation.
degradation, metamorphosis, and rebirth
This book is about government censorship destroying and burning books and using technology to intimidate and hypnotize the citizens. The two themes, government censorship and the use of technology to control the citizens, interact with on another and drive the lot of Bradbury’s novel. This novel shows how government censorship is a very bad, disgusting thing and can negatively affect private lives of the populace. Technology can be detrimental to individuals in an advanced society. government censorship and people blindly conforming to their trap anti-censorship message.
The theme of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 can be viewed from several different angles. First and foremost, Bradbury's novel gives an anti-censorship message. Bradbury understood censorship to be a natural outcropping of an overly tolerant society. Once one group objects to something someone has written, that book is modified and censorship begins. Soon, another minority group objects to something else in the book, and it is again edited until eventually the book is banned altogether. In Bradbury's novel, society has evolved to such an extreme that all literature is illegal to possess. No longer can books be read, not only because they might offend someone, but because books raise questions that often lead to revolutions and even anarchy. The intellectual thinking that arises from reading books can often be dangerous, and the government doesn't want to put up with this danger. Yet this philosophy, according to Bradbury, completely ignores the benefits of knowledge. Yes, knowledge can cause disharmony, but in many ways, knowledge of the past, which is recorded in books, can prevent man from making similar mistakes in the present and future. Bradbury advocates the idea that men should think for themselves, not let the government or the television do their thinking for them. The easiest way, Bradbury argues, to think for oneself is to expand one's knowledge of history and politics and religion. This can only be achieved through the study of books. Though this study may cause discomfort, all in all, it is necessary for any society that doesn't wish to repeat the mistakes of the past. ties personal freedom to the right of an individual having the freedom of expression when he utilizes the issue of censorshiEntertainment that does not require the viewer to think may seem harmless, but it actually poses a great threat. kowledge isnt dangerous
The Danger of Censorship
The Danger of IgnoranceThe fireman's responsibility is to destroy knowledge and promote ignorance in order to ensure equality. Ignorance, however, promotes suicide, poor decisions, and empty lives. It also allows government to do what it pleases. Censorship is subtly shown throughout the entire novel. Burning books started when society felt it neccessary to begin censoring information from people. Censorship is shown with the stiffling of information given out in the media, and on the televisions. I haven't read the book for school, just for fun, but would more censorship be through the Hound, that shoots people with needles if they run after being caught reading books. anti-censorship message
“Fahrenheit 451″ essay1.) “We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing”. How might Bradbury be defining happiness in “Fahrenheit 451”? Does he present a new idea of happiness or preserve an older idea? “We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing”. In “Fahrenheit 451” people aren’t completely happy, although they think they are. Bradbury might be defining happiness as knowledge; knowledge being the key to happiness and this concept of happiness is new. Happiness might be defined as knowledge in “Fahrenheit 451” because Bradbury says that “something’s missing” to be happy and the only thing that is missing in the futuristic society are books which lead to knowledge. This knowledge leads people to think by themselves and that way they can find happiness and what makes them happy by themselves, instead of being programmed to think they are happy when they are not. Although people in the novel say that books contain nothing, that is because the government has stuck that into their heads. People are not happy and that is demonstrated when Mildred tried to kill herself and it can also be questioned if Chief Beatty also let himself be killed by Guy Montag. If people in “Fahrenheit 451” were allowed to possess books and received an education which allowed them to understand what the books actually said, then people would have answers to questions, and would understand the world better. This would allow people to think for themselves and set themselves a goal in life and while completing that goal they would achieve happiness. Having knowledge would also allow people to realize how important communication with other people is (to share thoughts and happiness) and people wouldn’t be so self-centred, which would contribute to a happier and more united society. In the novel Bradbury explains that people in that society didn’t even take care of their children, and they were a burden for their parents. When Mildred met with her friends, they met to watch the television together, not to talk like people would nowadays. Mildred also interacted more with her “family” (which were fictitious people) than with her husband. The lack of knowledge of the people in “Fahrenheit 451” also impedes people from imagining things and being creative. Imagination is the first step to set out goals and people in “Fahrenheit 451” don’t have the power to do that. They don’t even have religions (such as Jesus being a member of the family) and people can’t have faith or hopes, which brings them satisfaction. Bradbury may be defining happiness in “Fahrenheit 451” as something that is achieved by knowledge. Happiness itself is then achieved by each individual in a unique way, because everyone may have different concepts of happiness. And knowledge also gives people imagination with which they can create their goals for happiness. As a whole, Bradbury is saying that for happiness books and knowledge are needed. This concept of happiness is a new concept, because in the time the novel was written and nowadays happiness is generally not defined that way. People nowadays say they are happy when they have material objects; it is few people that consider knowledge happiness. Despite this, many people in our world do consider happiness being with others and sharing happiness with other people. However, in “Fahrenheit 451” Bradbury warns us that if we don’t pay attention to knowledge and focus too much on material objects (such as Mildred does with her “parlor walls”) then our society will become similar to the society in “Fahrenheit 451”. Nowadays, people already resemble those in the novel, because people communicate a lot by computers, instead of face to face. Also, other electronic devices such as televisions, cell phones, or devices used for playing form part of our daily lives. This shows how our society is becoming more individual. “Fahrenheit 451” is also a warning so society doesn’t become like the one presented in “Fahrenheit 451”. Bradbury warns us that if we do follow that model then we won’t be happy and people will not think anymore, they will just follow the crowd. The novel also inspires people to appreciate what they have and be grateful that people can think, and are not mindless robots like Mildred. This novel makes people believe that modern society is not bad, it could be much worst. The idea of happiness Bradbury presents is also very different from the concept of happiness the inhabitants in “Fahrenheit 451” have. They think happiness is talking to television screens or burning books. Bradbury’s meaning of happiness differs very much from that concept; it’s almost the opposite. Bradbury says people should consider books and treat them with respect. People should also interact with one another and not be tied to looking at a screen. Bradbury also disapproves of the education people get in “Fahrenheit 451”, because their education leads them to not think and to not respect books. By writing the novel “Fahrenheit 451” Bradbury shows what a “bad” society would be and he expects people to realize and take the novel as a warning to what could happen if people aren’t careful. He presents a new concept of happiness, one which nowadays we wouldn’t consider the definition of happiness. He presents the key to happiness as knowledge, which books offer, and then from that knowledge happiness is possible; by reaching goals or sharing happiness with others. This differs from what most people consider happiness because people usually consider happiness material objects, and that is what Bradbury reproaches. In conclusion, “Fahrenheit 451” is a novel that shows a new concept of happiness and warns us that knowledge is good, don’t unappreciated it. A good hook for Fahrenheit 451 on technology might be: "Technology can isolate people and inhibit the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and emotions." or "Books contain independent thoughts and ideas and nothing is more threatening to those who want to control everything." !Imagine a future in which all books are banned and censored in an attempt to keep the human race from thinking for themselvesSample Thesis: In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury shows a world of the future in which free thought is repressed through censorship, even though a small group of people is determined to remember books and start learning.
OR: In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury presents a dystopia in which people of the future are so wrapped up in the mind numbing effects of technology that they refuse to think."I don't know. We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help." (pg. 82) Search for happiness - Montag realizes how miserable his life is and wants to find happiness through knowledge, reading material, etc. Alienation - in doing so, Montag alienates himself from the rest of society - they don't care about critical thinking; they just want to sit around and watch TV all day Censorship - the government realizes that books cause people to think, and in order to keep them oppressed, no one can think. So they order that all books should be burned if found Science and technology - everything in this world is instant gratification. This can be seen early in the book with Mildred's four wall screen TV or the Mechanical Hound. Source(s):
In the dystopian science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury, Bradbury envisioned a world full of censorship, happiness, and technology. He sees this world obsessed with technology and people that aren’t truly happy with what they have. Censorship, happiness, and technology all relate to one another in the book. Technology is not a main part of the book but it is an important idea. No one reads in Montag’s society because they have become accustomed to getting the things they need from technology sources such as radios, TV’s, and the “parlor walls.” Technology has taken over the lives of the people in Fahrenheit 451. On page 48 Montag says to Mildred, “Would you turn off the parlor?” This proves that they are obsessed with technology. Montag is getting mad with technology ruling over everything so asks Mildred to stop using it. Mildred always uses the parlor room to get away from life, she goes to the parlor room to talk to her “ancestors.” “Toast popped out of the silver toaster, was seized by a spidery metal hand mat drenched it with melted butter” (Bradbury 16). This shows that every inch of space has to be consumed with some technology. Humans don’t have to do stuff for themselves; the machines do it for them. Technology is taking over the world in Fahrenheit 451. No books, all technology. Bradbury uses technology in the book to support his vision of a world of happiness and censorship. Bradbury creates 2 main happiness levels in Fahrenheit 451, either the people in the society are happy or their not, there is no in between. "We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all is happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against." (Bradbury 58). Captain Beatty uses this quote to explain to people that the law is to burn books and... “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it,” censorship is king, and complacency rather than individualism is promoted (36). Thus, Ray Bradbury gives emphasis to the themes of identity, technology, and false happiness in Fahrenheit 451. Fahrenheit 451 Essay BY: Tristan Vance Fahrenheit 451contains a complex story about a society in which many things are different than the one we have come to know today. The story has many themes like censorship and loyalty. Although this book was written a long time ago, some of the ideas from this book have come into existence. This brings about the question of where our society is headed in the future. One of the not so evident themes in this book is the topic of happiness. In the story, Montag's friend Faber, the former college professor discusses three things a person needs for true happiness. He basically states that a person needs quality information with depth, leisure time to digest the information and think, and the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the others. Thinking is not a luxury that the people in Fahrenheit 451 know. Therefore, Faber is explaining to Montag that understanding something and thinking about it after you read is important. The fact that they are not allowed to read and the people all act the same, relates to the topic of conformity. If everyone conforms and become the same, nothing will be interesting anymore. Our society would have no depth. John F. Kennedy once said "Conformity is a jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth," and this almost relates directly to this book. The quote is saying that if our society is all the same, then that is what will soon be expected and it will eventually take our freedom from us. It also means that our society will never grow because if we all conform, there will be no thinking and no progressing; we will all be satisfied with ourselves and our lives, leaving no room for new ideas and progress. Being happy with where we are now and just staying at this point would make our society freeze; no progress, no change, and no thinking. When a person is told how to live their own lives they forget to make their own decisions and they just become another... It is also ignorance that spawns fear. The very thing the government was trying to prevent through fear tactics on society, destroyed society due to the lack of knowledge of how to prevent history from repeating itself. Major Themes (a cut and paste from the url below) Censorship: In Fahrenheit 451, owning and reading books is illegal. Members of society focus only on entertainment, immediate gratification and speeding through life. If books are found, they are burned and their owner is arrested. If the owner refuses to abandon the books, as is the case with the Old Woman, he or she often dies, burning along with them. People with interests outside of technology and entertainment are viewed as strange, and possible threats. In the book, Bradbury doesn't give a clear explanation of why censorship has become so great in this futuristic society. Rather, the author alludes to a variety of causes. Fast cars, loud music, and massive advertisements create an over stimulated society without room for literature, self-reflection, or appreciation of nature. Bradbury gives the reader a brief description of how society slowly lost interest in books, first condensing them, then relying simply on titles, and finally forgetting about them all together. Bradbury also alludes to the idea that different "minority" groups were offended by certain types of literature. In his discussion with Montag, Beatty mentions dog lovers offended by books about cats, and cat lovers offended by books about dogs. The reader can only assume which minority groups Bradbury was truly referring to. Finally, in the Afterword to Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury clearly expresses his own sensitivity to attempts to restrict his writing. For example, he feels censored by letters suggesting he should give stronger roles to women or black men. Bradbury sees such suggestions and interventions as the first step towards censorship and book burning. Ignorance/Knowledge: Throughout the novel, the reader is presented with a conflict between knowledge and ignorance. What does true happiness consist of? Is ignorance bliss, or do knowledge and learning provide true happiness? Montag, in his belief that knowledge reigns, fights against a society that embraces and celebrates ignorance. The fireman’s responsibility is to burn books, and therefore destroy knowledge. Through these actions, the firemen promote ignorance to maintain the sameness of society. After befriending Clarisse, Montag finds himself unable to accept the status quo, believing life is more complete, true and satisfying when knowledge is welcomed into it. After making this discovery, Montag fights against ignorance, trying to help others welcome knowledge into their lives. For example, when his wife's friends come over, he forces them to listen to poetry. Although they become extremely upset after listening to what he reads, they are able to experience true emotion. In Montag's view, this emotion will give these women a fuller and more satisfying life. Life/Death: Throughout the novel, Bradbury presents paradoxes between life and death. For example, Montag's wife Millie attempts suicide by swallowing sleeping pills. Montag discovers her, calls for emergency medical assistance and saves her life. During the time while the medical team is reviving Millie, it is unclear whether she will live or die. Montag learns through the medics that reviving suicide attempts is a very common act. The commonality of suicide attempts and saves blurs the line between life and death in this futuristic society. Upon realizing this, Montag begins to wonder what life truly is and why it feels so empty and dead. Furthermore, the tool the medics use to pump Millie's stomach is referred to as the Electric-Eyed Snake, and the tool the firmen use to hunt down book owners is the Mechanical Hound, both inanimate objects that appear to have lives of their own. Montag finds himself wondering, are they alive or dead? In truth, in Montag's search for truth and knowledge, he is trying to give true life to his own existence and to prevent the cultural death of society.Many people die in the novel. The old woman burns herself to death, Clarisse is killed by a speeding car, Montag kills Beatty with the flamethrower, and the Mechanical Hound kills an innocent man. Among all this destruction, Montag survives and is given new life, reborn after his trip down the river and after meeting Granger and taking the concoction to change his chemical balance. While Montag survives, the city and everyone he knew there are destroyed. Montag's interest in knowledge and dedication to a new and better society saved him. Thus, Bradbury seems to suggest that life is dependent on knowledge and awareness. If we become idle and complacent, we might as well be dead. Animal Imagery: In the opening paragraph, the burning book pages are compared to birds trying to fly away. When Millie attempts suicide, Montag compares the tool used to save her to a snake. The Mechanical Hound is a dominant presence throughout the novel. The image of the salamander is dominant as well, as a symbol of the fireman. In addition, the story of the Pheonix plays a prominent role. This animal imagery expresses the importance of nature in life. The lack of nature, or the manipulation of nature (i.e. the development of the Mechanical Hound), causes death and destruction. The only time animal imagery is positive in the entire novel is when Montag gets out of the river and encounters a deer. At first he thinks it is a Hound, but then realizes his mistake. The deer is peaceful, beautiful, and an expression of nature. This image welcomes Montag into his new life. Technology: Technology in Bradbury's 24th century is highly advanced. Television screens take up entire parlor room walls and characters can speak directly to the listener, addressing him or her by name. Small seashell radios broadcast into people's ears throughout the day. People rely on inventions such as the Mechanical Hound and the snake-like tool used to save Millie's life after her suicide attempt. People drive cars at speeds of 150mph and above. Faber invents a small radio to be inserted in the ear through which he can communicate with Montag. Technology dominates society. Montag discusses this issue briefly with Clarisse and reflects on it as he opens up to the world of books. When he finally escapes his old life, the city is destroyed by atomic bombs (yet another example of negative technology), and Montag begins a simple life with very little technological tools as he sets out to rebuild society with Granger and the other intellectuals. Clearly, Bradbury is commenting on the negative influence of technological development in this world and the destructive potential of technology in our society. Paradoxes: At the opening of Part I, when Montag goes home, his bedroom is described at first as "not empty" and then as "indeed empty". Mildred is there, but her mind is floating away with the music of her seashell radio and she is almost lost to a sleeping pill overdose. This concept of paradoxes continues throughout the book, expressed in the conflicts between life and death mentioned earlier. Examples include the "electric-eyed snake" tool that the technicians use to revive Mildred, and the Mechanical Hound, which appears to be both machine and animal. Furthermore, this paradox exists in the concept of "truth" portrayed in the novel. Beatty's "truth" is a fabrication and manipulation of history. Actual truth is hidden from society, or more accurately, burned. Many people in Montag's life, including Millie and her friends, believe they live in reality when in fact they live in a superficial world dominated by television, government oppression and the media. Society is blind to the truth. Montag's discovery of the truth and his dedication to living a life of truth save him from the ultimate destruction bombs bring to the city. Religion: Although it appears no character in Fahrenheit 451 holds any religious beliefs, Bradbury includes many religious references in this novel. The book Montag saves from the old woman's house is The Bible. Throughout his tribulations, Montag holds on to this book, reading it on the subway, showing it to Faber, and finally, with Granger and the other intellectuals, Montag agrees that The Bible is the book he will memorize in order to one day, in a new society, reprint. Furthermore, Montag compares Millie's friends to icons he saw in a church once but did not understand. Later on in the novel, Faber compares himself to water and Montag to fire, saying the cooperation of the two will produce wine. This is an allusion to the biblical story of the miracle at Canaan where Christ transforms water into wine. At the conclusion of the novel, Montag, Granger and the rest of the intellectuals walk up the river to find survivors of the ultimate atomic destruction of the city. In his walk, Montag remembers passages he read in his Bible from Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season," and Revelations 22:2, "And on either side of the river was there a tree of life...and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." The apocalypse Montag has witnessed has clear connections to the apocalypse foreseen in the Bible. Source:
She suffers from a hidden melancholy that she refuses to accept consciously and that causes her to commit suicide. This same type of repressed inner pain affects much of the population of this world, manifesting itself in self-destructive acts. The question of individual agency arises again when Montag steals the book. He perceives his crime to be automatic and observes that it involved no thought on his part, that his hands committed the crime on their own. Montag’s thoughtless actions here recall Mildred’s unconscious overdose; both actions result from a hidden sense of dissatisfaction that neither Mildred nor Montag consciously acknowledges. He is moved to tears only when he realizes he would not cry if Mildred overdosed again and died—the true tragedy in his life is the lack of any real feeling. Montag feels that he and his wife are both utterly empty, and he thinks back to Clarisse’s dandelion (from the first of “The Hearth and the Salamander”) as the sign of his lack of feelings for Mildred. Montag blames the TV walls and various other bits of technological distraction for separating Mildred from him and killing or at least distorting her brain. Her life of watching television has destroyed her attention span, and now she can hardly even comprehend what is going on in the programs she watches. Mildred is so disconnected from reality that she forgets to tell Montag that Clarisse was killed and her family moved away; she does not even consider the possibility that this news might upset Montag in any way. The probable cause of the suicide could be Mildred’s carelessness. Guy Montag, her husband, suspects that the suicide was an accident─ perhaps she was just taking pills as usual, only this time she ‘forgot’ and took more pills and eventually overdosed. When one forgets something, it is usually because they are distracted. In this case, it is her obsession with televisions. Mildred’s suicide attempt represents the fact the televisions brainwash people and turn them into an empty, insipid and careless bunch. Their lives are dominated by technological influences. People no longer know what they really want to do with their lives. The way Mildred does not remember trying to kill herself shows that people in her society do not pay attention on what is happening to the world, or even to their real ‘family’. They become so self-centred that they only focus on what is entertaining them. Another possibility is Mildred attempted a suicide for the reason that she is deeply unhappy. She is depressed but does not know because to people in her society, being ‘happy’ is a duty, not a choice. Government wants everyone to be happy and Mildred is just a good citizen who is willing to do her duty. She even tells her husband that she is happy and ‘proud of it’. In conclusion, the fact that Government is gaining too much control over individual’s lives is responsible for Mildred’s suicide attempt. Throughout the story, we learn the Mildred has lived in front of three television sets, never having a thought of her own. Guy Montag may have been too optimistic about his wife for believing the suicide was unintentional. He probably does not really think so but tries to give the most positive reason to it. So, does this mean Guy, too, has been brainwashed and is now unable to face reality? Maybe yes as he chooses to believe in the reason he wants it to be rather than trying to find out the truth. This shows that overconsumption of entertainment makes people becomeincapable of understanding the world and causes them to lose an ability to ‘think’.