Fahrenheit 451


Points To Ponder

  1. "That woman, the other night, Millie, you weren't there. You didn't see her face. And Clarisse. You never talked to her. I talked to her. And men like Beatty are afraid of her. I can't understand it. Why should they be so afraid of someone like her? But I kept putting her alongside the firemen in the house last night, and I suddenly realized I didn't like them at all, and I didn't like myself at all anymore." (67)

Explanation: People are afraid of those who are different, perhaps because they serve as contrast, bringing out their own faults or showing them that different shades of opinion can exist. People—particularly those brought up in closed or doctrinaire societies—want to believe that their actions and patterns of life are rational and true. Encountering individuals who think otherwise can be daunting and disconcerting. It is for this reason that radically religious, socialist, and dictatorial civilizations target nonconformists and censor incendiary books.

  1. "The public stopped reading of its own accord. You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but it’s a small sideshow indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line… It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick." (87)

All great changes and political circumstances originate through the masses; therefore, for change to occur, crowds need to be involved, rather than isolated individuals. Change in history is comprised of the needs and desires of the masses effectuated by dynamic individuals. These individuals become famous only because the crowd wills them to and desires their actions. Martin Luther King, for example, existed in times that were ripe for desegregation. He served as spokesman for millions of others. Had he lived in an...

Sign up to continue reading Points To Ponder >

Essays About Fahrenheit 451