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Censorship in Fahrenheit 451

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Whitney Wernick

Mrs. Dennis- English 2

Block 4


Censorship in Fahrenheit 451

In Fahrenheit 451 by author Ray Bradbury, fireman Guy Montag has to produce fires rather than put them out. A firefighter struggling, fighting with his conscience to determine if a society without books is right. To describe his job he says, "It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed" (Bradbury 3). During this time, there is an issue of censorship and lack of knowledge with most of the people in the society. Fahrenheit 451 was an interesting science fiction thriller that provided an odd view on the censorship of books. Not just some books, but all books. An entire distorted culture and civilization where all books are prohibited. The penalty for possessing, is that the books must be burned and in some cases the penalty may lead to death.

Bradbury's idea about censorship was very to the point. His thoughts were that with all the different types of people in our world that we should not have censorship, "There are none in our country. We have too many groups for censorship to be possible. We have Catholics and Jews and Protestants, and Republicans and Democrats, and women's libbers, and lesbians and homosexuals and bisexuals, and young and old... We're all watching each other, so there's no chance for censorship. The main problem is the idiot TV. If you watch local news, your head will turn to mush" (Bradbury 184). His intention with this book was to simply inform and educate the readers on what life could end up being like if we started believing, and simply thinking that books are pointless and that we should not think or understand anything anymore.

Throughout this story, the citizens of the society have nothing intelligent to do. Everyone just watches mindless television on walls. They really do not care much about their own lives, instead they get tangled up in the television and everything that has to do with it. To have equality, the fireman must abide by the rules and follow what everyone else is doing, not reading, but taking in, watching the walls and loosing their lives. Everyone in this world, Bradbury created, must and should follow what everyone else is doing. First meeting Clarisse, Montag realizes that she is not like everyone else. She thinks, listens, talks, understands, and believes in what others can not even do for themselves, "Do you ever read any of the books you burn?' He laughed. `That's against the law!' `Oh. Of course.' `It's fine work. Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan'"(Bradbury



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