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What are some of the key messages and ideas presented in the novella, Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451 What are some of the key ideas and messages presented in the novel, Fahrenheit 451? Explain your answer with examples and quotations. Jacob Goering Jacob Goering February 21, 2005 What are some of the key messages and ideas presented in the novella, Fahrenheit 451? Explain your answer with detailed examples and quotations. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian, science fiction novel, which is written through the perspective of Bradbury's protagonist, Guy Montag. Fahrenheit 451 was initially published in 1953; however it is set in the twenty fourth century in a conformist society, where literature is illegal. Throughout Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury conveys some very important messages and ideas. Among these are; censorship, the influence of technology, individual choice and the role of the individual in society, ruling by fear and totalitarianism, and the evolution of society. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 forces us to envision a world that has been so thoroughly censored that firemen, such as Guy Montag no longer exist to fight fires (for all buildings are fireproof) but rather to start them and take part in censorship. In this world individuality and individual choice are lost. Appropriately named, Guy appeared from the start to be just like any other firefighter. He found it "a pleasure to burn (p.3)", and followed the dictations of his leaders. Eventually, however, Montag begins to realize that he lives in a society that takes away the power of an individual to make choices and to make a difference. ...read more.


(p.12)" In Fahrenheit 451 technologies have developed so much that machines are capable of reviving someone's life when they would otherwise be conceived dead. In one instance, Mildred overdoses on sleeping pills, and Montag calls the stomach-pump squad which "pumped all of the blood from the body and replaced it with fresh blood and serum. (p.15)" When Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 he predicted that humans would cultivate a thirst for violence, and that is reflected as a major theme in his novel. Clarisse is the only character who is aware of the violence, and she is the one who points it out to Montag. Through Clarisse, Montag comes to realizes that everyone is "either shouting or dancing around like wild animals beating up one and other." Clarisse asks Montag, "Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays? (p.29)" This provokes Montag to question the values of his society. To express and emphasize the amount of violence bred in this society, Bradbury uses extremes. He exaggerates the violence in society to the extent that characters in Fahrenheit 451 release stress and have fun through violence. Clarisse describes this aspect of society by saying that, "they (the rulers) run us so ragged by the end of the day that we can't do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball.(p.30)" ...read more.


There are modern parallels to "seashell" radios and "parlor walls", which are walkmans or portable compact disk and MP3's, and large screen plasma televisions. Bradbury's interpretation of interactive television and realistic television also corresponds to reality television and soap operas. There are even books today which have been censored, including classics such as "Huckleberry Finn", and ironically "Fahrenheit 451". In the Afterward of Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury writes, "Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 sections from [Fahrenheit 451].(Interview with Bradbury)" In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury expresses a number of important messages and ideas that concern the future of mankind. None of these messages is more alarming than the fact that the loss of characters freedom to read and to think was not an act that was forced on the people, but rather one embraced by the people, either because they do not find the content of literature appropriate or because technology makes takes the place of literature. The terrifying resemblance that Bradbury's vision of the twenty fourth century bears to the world today only further extends the possibility that some day our world might become no different from the world which Guy Montag lived in. Bradbury describes this world, "Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito- out! Every simile that would have a sub-moron's mouth twitch- gone! Any aside that explained the two- bit philosophy of a first rate writer- lost!....Every image that demanded so much as one instant's attention- shot dead.(Afterward)" ...read more.

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