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The novel, Fahrenheit 451 reflects Ray Bradbury's concern for decline of individual thought among his society

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Introduction

The novel, Fahrenheit 451 reflects Ray Bradbury's concern for decline of individual thought among his society. According to Captain Beatty, the head of the fire station "technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick" of replacing independent thought with conformity and finally leading to censorship (Bradbury, 58). Bradbury wants readers to notice these potential hazards in his fictional world and to beware of them in their own society. Technology in Fahrenheit 451 and today is seen as a great threat to individual thought. Even though the society that Bradbury depicts in the novel is very extreme, it warns the reader of the dangers of technology. Mildred, Montag's wife is taken over by the media and escapes form her life through the modern technologies. According to Clarisse, people no longer think or talk about anything important, "No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or swimming pools mostly and say how swell. ...read more.

Middle

Beatty explains to Montag that in the past pressure groups were influential in ending free expression, which eventually allowed the government to begin censoring its citizen. "Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog lovers, cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans..." (Bradbury, 57). Despite the obvious role of minority pressure in the decline of thought, the novel suggests mass exploitation to be the more serious problem. While minority pressure comes from a few members of the public, exploitation comes from the majority of the population. "Publishers, exploiters, broadcasters" sense the public's desire for relaxation and pleasure and exploit mindless types of entertainment for profit (http://ipl.ulis.ac.jp:8001/cgi-bin/ref/litcrit/litcrit.out.pl?ti=fah-198.) This suggests that even more dangerous than the pressure groups is the public's desire for comfort and pleasure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another type of thought destroying mass exploitation in Fahrenheit 451 as well as the real world is the common drug use. When Mildred, overdoses by taking too much sleeping peels the medics, who replace her blood tell Montag, "We get these cases nine or ten a night. Got so many, starting a few years ago, we had the special machines built" (Bradbury, 15), which suggests that use of drugs is common. It is obvious to see that Bradbury recognizes drugs as a threat to individual thought. Montag smokes early on in the novel (Bradbury, 24), but as he becomes wiser his habit disappears, which shows that smoking was partially responsible for his ignorance in the beginning. Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates the author's extreme sensitivity to any attempts of restricting freedom of expression. He uses a dystopian setting to warn people of the dangers of technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure and considers them as threats to individual thought. Moreover, Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent social critique novel, which contributes to positive changes in society. ...read more.

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