What Is Censorship In Fahrenheit 451

Topics: Fahrenheit 451, Dystopia, Ray Bradbury / Pages: 4 (765 words) / Published: Nov 9th, 2016
Potter Stewart once said, “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.” Stewart’s personal definition of censorship is constantly portrayed throughout Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 as readers see free-thoughts being restricted by government efforts. This can be seen first as government-directed firemen burn books to keep citizens from developing their own opinions on matters. Secondly, ideas and questions are kept off limits by distracting people through the technology surrounding them. Finally, censorship is enforced by removing situations where people can ask questions, such as in classrooms at schools. Fahrenheit 451 is a novel that gives us prime examples of ways a government can suppress and censor individual ideas and free thought. In Fahrenheit 451, firemen burn books in people’s homes to rid the society of all individual beliefs, …show more content…
One particular instance where firemen performed their “community service” was when they burnt an old woman’s house and belongings down. When the chief fireman, Beatty, discovered where she had hidden a portion of her books, he stated that they had been “‘locked up here for years with a regular Tower of Babel’” (Bradbury 35). In this situation, the author alluded to the Tower of Babel from the Bible, where people were attempting to build a tower straight up to heaven. To prevent the people from achieving their goal, God made everyone speak different languages than each other. This prevented them from understanding each other, thus ending their construction on the tower. In Fahrenheit 451, the knowledge within books can be compared to a completely different language than the knowledge the government says is true. The two sources of information do not contain the same theology; thus, the government burns the opposing books to destroy the truth that has the power to destroy them. Likewise, the government restricts all forms of questions to maintain the illusion of a perfect

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