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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Essay by   •  September 24, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  920 Words (4 Pages)  •  128 Views

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Fahrenheit 451

As once stated by Edward P. Morgan, “A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.” Books serve as a refuge for the mind and allow people a chance to explore their complex thoughts. However, in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 there was no such sanctum. The dubious protagonist, Guy Montag, struggled with following the strict laws of the dystopian world in which he lived. He started questioning the way the society worked after meeting his neighbor Clarisse and witnessing a woman sacrifice her life for books. After meeting Clarisse he began to develop her individualist mentality and found himself suppressed by the society he lived in. Ray Bradbury utilized the main conflict found in Fahrenheit 451 (Man vs. Society) to elucidate his notion that only through connecting with others, be it by means of reading or face to face communication, can we truly obtain happiness and wisdom. He did this by writing about the dangers of instant gratification, ignorance, and a lack of human connection.

One must carefully observe the risks of instant gratification in order to discover true happiness. But how must one begin? Initially, we were introduced to Mildred, Montag’s wife, whose suicide attempt suggested that she was deeply unhappy but her obsession with all of the entertainment around her served as a means to avoid her pain. She, instead of facing her problems, distracted herself with instant gratification as a way to temporarily bring her some sort of comfort. This destructive way of coping was shown to be encouraged in their society leaving the citizens entirely detached, aside from the “family” in a popular soap opera. They were all so desperate for happiness that they traded sharp, insightful conversation for vapid consumption that only provisionally satisfied them. Clarisse was the one who revealed to Montag initially how unhappy he was with that way of life. Bradbury portrayed their society as empty shells, completely devoid of any sincere sentimental or emotional substance. This was meant to show us that without meaningful relationships with others our lives become futile.

Simply, Montag’s society ran on willful ignorance. The government controlled their society purely because of their lack of knowledge, allowing them to manipulate the population to continue to be ignorant. They did this by banning books in the name of political correctness, and therefore their education was limited to only the news, which was managed by the government. Because of this total control that the government had, they left the citizens unaware of what was going on in the world. At one point in the novel, Faber mentioned to Montag that the rest of the world was doing terribly. Also

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