Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
“Fahrenheit 451”, by Ray Bradbury, is a story about a society where the federal government controls the ideas, and actions of the people. Bradbury’s futuristic society has no past and is entirely empty. The works and knowledge produced in the centuries previously, eliminated and burned.
His world includes no beauty, no love, and is entirely kept an eye on and controlled by a self-important and cruel federal government. Through the depiction of this society, Bradbury discuss the horrific effects of censorship on the souls of humans. In addition to the loss of humankind at the hands of a federal government that implements mass conformity.
In “Fahrenheit 451”, all pieces of composing are considered unnecessary and prohibited because they allegedly trigger discontent in the general public. Similarly, individualism is also dissuaded and the mind is suggested for mundane and uninteresting acts of repetition and routine. Bradbury’s future world is emotionless and blinded to the reality that the civilization is quickly advancing toward complete destruction.
Bradbury is a skilled writer and intricately parallels his fictional world with modern day society. “Fahrenheit 451” is a thoroughly constructed cautioning about the potential future of the world if it continues to abuse censorship, technology, and implement conformity.
The story of “Fahrenheit 451” was based upon the existing occasions in United States during the 1950s. Jack Zipes, in Mass Degradation of Humankind and Massive Contradictions in Bradbury’s Vision of America in “Fahrenheit 451”, describes “”Fahrenheit 451″ is gone over in regards to the world’s problems at big when it is essentially bound to the reality of the early 1950s in America, and it is the uniqueness of the crises threatening the material of American society which stamp the narrative issue” (182 ).
The 2nd world war triggered many writers to turn from dream fiction to works that handled the more severe problems of the time. This was a time when researchers had simply found and used the atom bomb. For the first time the people of the world needed to take seriously that concept that with a single innovation the whole planet could be ruined (56 ).
Bradbury’s hatred for such technology can be seen in the book. Technologies are typically described as “chilling, impersonal gadgets of mechanized anti-culture” (141 ). In addition, the television was now a common household product utilized not just for entertainment however also as a means of communicating the daily news.
The fascination of mindless entertainment irritated Bradbury, and the citizens of his fictionally world are equally as mindless. As the appeal of the tv increased the reading of books decreased. Bradbury, in “Fahrenheit 451” shows what would take place in a world where literature ceased to exist. The United States was likewise suffering through misinformed McCarthyism which persecuted expected communists who wished to overthrow the federal government (McGiveron 283).
The governmental actions were prohibited and unconstitutional and yet they continue to destroy lives with fear and power (Zipes 189). For that reason, Bradbury used the online forum of a science fiction book to voice his concerns about the world. He thought that censorship in any kind was incorrect and the burning of books was really the damage of understanding, ideas, and uniqueness.
Bradbury forewarns that if society is to become docile and submissive the federal government could quickly control minds and lives. George Slusser, in Coordinates: Positioning Science Fiction and Dream, writes “Although librarians and instructors fought back, the pressure for censorship increased.” (Slusser, Rabkin, and Scholes 104). Unusually enough, “Fahrenheit 451” has been prohibited from books shelves and schools since it’s publication.
In Bradbury’s futuristic world, the burning of books is regular and the residents accept this truth without concern. Individuals have become meaningless, empty beings, at the sole control of their government. Captain Betty reflects “Fire’s genuine charm is that it damages duty and repercussions. An issue gets too difficult, then into the furnace with it” (115 ).
He represents the common residents in this world that is forced into conformity so long that he enjoys to comply. Conformity is seen as the service to the world’s problems. Keith Booker, in Dystopian Literature: A Theory and Research Guide, observes “throughout “Fahrenheit 451” he highlights the voluntary participation of the people in the oppressive policies of the government. “( 89 ).
If there are no distinctions then there is no dispute, no war, and unfortunately no variety. The regrettable repercussion is that in a world with no pain there can not be happiness.
Adjustment through worry is not a fictional idea that Bradbury created. It was real in the 1950s when this book was released and it is genuine today (Booker 82). Just six years back, the people of the United States were manipulated by the federal government. An act was developed in the dark days following the terrorist attacks versus the United States on September 11, 2001.
It was created to enable the agencies of police and intelligence to have more authority in order to avoid any future attacks by terrorists on the United States. Furthermore, it offered tracking tools within the United States to strongly deal with the Bush administration’s domestic war on terrorism.
The draft title of the act was “Uniting and Fortifying America by Giving Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”. However, today it is better referred to as the USA Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was accountable for extreme modifications in over 15 important federal government and constitutional statues.
All which lead to the increased ability of the federal government and law enforcement to privately keep an eye on, perform surveillance, and examine anybody at anytime. The fictional world of Bradbury and out contemporary society responded in the same way to violence– turning over our liberties for a bit of pseudo-safety.
The use of propaganda is likewise utilized by the federal government to manage it’s citizens.Eric Rabkin, in No Location Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction, asserts “The mass of mankind is subjected to the labor procedure for the purposes of those who manage it instead of for any general purposes of ‘humanity’ as such” (123 ).
The incident in the subway is an exceptional example of this control. There is an industrial on the train speaker system for ‘Denham’s Dentrifice’ and as it plays, everybody one the train is reciting the commercial from memory and the “words was recreated on the travelers’ lips” (78-80).
Censorship is central style in “Fahrenheit 451”. Censorship causes the hiding of the fact. Symbolic of this censorship is the flamethrower which is used to burn books and your houses which contain them (Slusser, Rabkin, and Scholes 105). It is a method which the government fantastic rid of uniqueness and what is thought about “harmful thought.”
The weapons are used by the firefighters who are mindless government agents who ruin people’s most valuable possessions each and everyday. It is a weapon of worry utilized to manage individuals in this society. It is this type of technology that Bradbury is most afraid of.
He explains their power by explaining “With the brass nozzle in Montag’s fists, with this excellent python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some incredible conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.” (3 ).
Bradbury is quick to mention that the knowledge and literature that took centuries to get can easily be destroyed by technology in minutes (Rabkin 127).
While Bradbury might have been commenting on using the television which appeared to dumb down the intellectual capacity of Americans, his warning is just as beneficial in the 21st century. The prevalent usage and misuse of the Web has produced a brand-new non-tangible world which enables users to communicate but not connect.
The Web has added to the lack of specific and distinct idea in literature, art, and music. The Internet is likewise place of anonymity where people can conceal behind user names, partake in dishonest acts, and accept no obligation for their actions. Rafeeq McGiveron, in “To Build a Mirror Factory: the Mirror and Self-Examination in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″,” describes “in “Fahrenheit 451” Ray Bradbury develops an unthinking society so compulsively hedonistic that it must be atom-bombed flat prior to it ever can be reconstructed.”( 282 ).
In “Fahrenheit 451”, Ray Bradbury, alerts the general public to the value of individuality and uniqueness. He urges the audience to combat the federal government suitables of censorship and forced societal conformity. He asked readers to reflect on their own societies and make changes before it is too late.
In Bradbury society composed language is prohibited and forgotten. People are no longer able to believe for themselves and holds just the views of the government. People are managed by fear and degradation of their mankind producing shelled human beings who have no function.
This story of damage and hope was developed to mirror out own society and to cautions modern people that human rights require to be defended, hung on too, and valued. In a time of the rampant development of technology we need to be watchful in holding and revealing out rights to be human. If not, out fate is that of the Bradbury’s society, succumbs into to the advancements in technology and being cleaned from existence.
Booker, M. Keith. Dystopian Literature: A Theory and Research Study Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.
Bradbury, Ray. “Fahrenheit 451”. New York: The Ballentine Publishing Group, 1953.
McGiveron, Rafeeq O. “To Build a Mirror Factory: the Mirror and Self-Examination in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″.” Critique 39.3 (1998 ): 282-287. Questia. 28 Nov. 2007 <