The Fahrenheit 451 Novel by Ray Bradbury

Subject: Literature
Pages: 3
Words: 822
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The Fahrenheit 451 novel by Ray Bradbury focuses on multiple themes, including technology, freedom, and censorship. The main themes are portrayed as detrimental to societal growth because they consume a lot of television and radio but do not enjoy reading. To demonstrate the extent to which the citizens relied on technology, Bradbury noted that for two years, “there had been no night” that Mildred missed listening to the Seashells thimble radio (5). As a result, most characters in the novel are depicted as ignorant. An example of ignorance is illustrated by the main character, Montag, who enjoys burning books down. The author used this ignorance to investigate and demonstrate the theme of censorship. This article explores this theme in detail.

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Censorship is the predominant theme in Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury’s opening statement of the novel shows how the citizens were comfortable with the burning of books. With what appeared as ironic, the firefighters started fires to burn down the books without feeling lost or oppressed. Beatty informed Montag that society decided to burn books because they caused confusion, distress, and uncertainty.

The people championed the burning of books that they did not like. The concept is illustrated in Bradbury (57), where he notes that “colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it.” People were also urged to forget about the dead and anything that did not make them happy. Consequently, society agreed to burn down books to restrict the free flow of ideas and focus on controlled entertainment, which in itself is censorship.

The leaders are afraid of civilization, and they use censorship to control the minorities. In the novel, Beatty stated that “we cannot have our minorities upset and stirred” (56). As a result, the government focus on keeping minorities happy by giving them fun. Society is more concerned with immediate gratification and watching big televisions, which are filled with depressing content. The entertainment devices also hinder people from listening and contributing to new ideas. The people have lost connection with each other as “no one has time anymore for anyone else” (21). Therefore, society voluntarily contributed to their censorship and submission to the unjust regimes.

The theme of censorship in the novel enlightens the readers in several ways. First, learners understand that censorship can be voluntary. Just as the characters in the story voluntarily banned or burned books for mass media, people need to be careful when discarding books for modern social networking sites. Books are a great source of knowledge and foster critical thinking, which is why there was widespread censorship in the novel intended to control the masses from an uprising.

Secondly, censorships force people to rely on one source of information, which can be misleading. For example, the author used dramatic irony to demonstrate how records could be falsified to mislead people. In the novel, Bradbury noted that firefighters started burning books in 1790. However, Beatty confirms to Montag that it was false information. As a result, he successfully managed to give a misleading account because they had banned or censored vital historical records. Similarly, people in modern society who rely on one source of information might be fed false information and propaganda that is detrimental to intellectual development.

Third, censorship dramatically influences the way of life for people in society. People who live in a controlled society fail to understand the fundamental concepts of life and live an unhealthy life that is no fun. For example, Bradbury (6) noted that “I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers because they never see them.” This comment shows that people never stop enjoying nature or life because they are busy operating chasing other fantasies. Similarly, modern society, though not censored, misses beautiful moments and nature because they are active on technological devices. Therefore, people should once in a while take time to communicate with others, enjoy views in new areas, and create memories.

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These lessons in this story are appropriate for everyone who uses Internet services and social networking sites. The author demonstrated how the government, using agencies, is capable of suppressing the truth by falsifying and destroying evidence. Additionally, the government has the capability to plant believable false information. Therefore, it is our duty to verify information shared to stop spreading propaganda to other people. The story also shows the dangers of technology, especially when consumed without moderation. The television and mass media are filled with violence and sad scenes that lead to suicide.

Also, the information shared via mass media did not invoke critical thinking, which was one way of keeping the viewers in check. People in the story viewed intellectual as an offensive word because it created “inequality” of ideas. It is evident in the novel that a society without intellectuals does not experience growth. Also, the author demonstrated the importance of personal interactions. Lack of communication drives people to suicide, whereas interactions enable people to generate new ideas and become enlightened.

Work Cited

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451: A Novel. Simon & Schuster, 2011.