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There are many messages/themes in Fahrenheit 451 - In writing the book, Bradbury sends a warning to his readers about the direction of society.

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Introduction

Brennan and Davie's Fahrenheit 451 Page Themes There are many messages/themes in Fahrenheit 451. In writing the book, Bradbury sends a warning to his readers about the direction of society. One warning sent is about the dangers of technology. Technology is always thought of as a good think, but it is not necessarily as shown in the book. When people begin to rely on technology, as in the novel, problems occur. This being dependent upon technology can be detrimental to intellectual growth, as people stop thinking of better ways, only accepting the current standard. Also, Bradbury warns us of the importance of the knowledge of history, as illustrated by Beatty telling Montag the first fireman was Ben Franklin. Just imagine if nobody knew history-what would happen? Knowledge is power, as clearly illustrated in the novel. Also illustrated in the novel is the importance of thought. Bradbury shows us that when people do not have their own thoughts, think for themselves, or come up with better ideas than those present, society will never go forward. This is the situation in the book. Long ago, people in their society ceased to question the format of the society, and therefore power was concentrated into the hands of a select few- those with knowledge, again portraying that knowledge is in fact power. When people stop thinking and begin to accept whatever the few powerful, knowledgeable people decide, the people are in trouble, because through time, they will gradually lose all influence on the society. ...read more.

Middle

One that stood out to me, was in the very first paragraph. "It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history." I love how he used the "great python" to describe the hose that was spitting out the kerosene. Many other examples of symbolism can also be found throughout the book. The critique also compares Bradbury's predictions for future life, to how it was during the 1950's, and how other people thought that the future would come out to be. Clarisse askes Montag, "Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?" Montag explains that houses are fireproof, therefore having no need for firemen who put out fires. The critic also writes, "Fahrenheit 451 is set solidly within the tradition of dystopian literature. Such literature portrays an imaginary world where misguided attempts to create a utopia, or a socially and politically perfect place, results in large scale human misery." I couldn't agree with Levy more myself. Montag and the government were so obsessed with trying to create this perfect world where everyone is equal, and no one gets offended for being a part of a minority, that the society results in a dystopia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though all of these themes that are demonstrated by Bradbury, he does illustrate a main theme. This is the importance of independent thought and intellectual freedom. "He sees reading as a key method of cultivating intellectual curiosity. Books confront readers with a variety of conflicting opinions and ideas, forcing them to think for themselves." Farenheit 451 and McCarthy/the McCarthy era The novel, Farenheit 451 and the McCarthy era are related in multiple ways. In an anti-communist movement, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, some controversial books were rejected and taken off the shelves of libraries, and some books were even burned, just as in the novel. In Oklahoma, a committee of women appointed by the school board burned books that were classified as dealing inproperly with socialism or sex. Also, a librarian in Oklahoma was fired for subscribing to certian magazines. As a result, libraries began removing contraversial literature from the shelves, which, in reality, is censorship. The similarities between this and the novel are striking. These events happened in the late 40's and early 50's, and the book was written in '53. This points towards the events having an impagt on the novel, and in fact the scenario that occured in real life is similar to the one which occured in Bradbury's book. I believe that Bradbury's book is a satire of the society that he lived in. The society in the novel is only an exaggerated version of what the real society could become. ...read more.

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