The ownership and reading of books is prohibited in Fahrenheit 451

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

In Fahrenheit 451, the ownership and reading of books is prohibited. Members of society focus only on entertainment, immediate gratification, and speeding through life. If books are found, they are burned and their owner is placed under immediate arrest. If the owner refuses to abandon the books, however, he or she often dies, burning along with them. Near the beginning of the novel, an old woman burns alongside her books.

Her life has been condemned as all that she loves and believes in is about to be destroyed when the firemen arrive: “‘Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out’”(Bradbury ). She may hope that her sacrifice will awaken people to the significance and importance of preserving the recordings of the thoughts and deeds of great men and women. As it turns out, Montag, who is part of the crew that has come to set fire to the books, is disturbed by the woman’s refusal to leave her house. Throughout the entirety of Fahrenheit 451, the author does not give a clear explanation as to why the illegality of books has become so in great in this society.

Rather, the author only provides a few allusions to possible causes. Fast cars, loud music, and massive advertisements create an overstimulated society without room for literature, self-reflection, or appreciation of nature. People with interests outside of technology and entertainment are viewed as abnormalities and possible threats. Bradbury gives the reader a brief description of how society slowly lost interest in books, first condensing them, then relying simply on titles, and finally forgetting about them all together. The technologies Bradbury describes in Fahrenheit 451 are all the result of a society that has embraced entertainment over knowledge. In Fahrenheit 451, censorship is shown through the fireman system, a system which prevents education and the freedom of expression by burning books.

Censorship is shown through the books that they burn. People aren’t allowed to read books, and that is the most extreme form of censorship that exists. Not only this, but people talking is looked down upon. The opening line of Bradbury’s novel is, “It was a pleasure to burn” (). Firemen seemed to enjoy their status as book burners. The banning and burning of books creates a dystopian society. This society is one of unhappiness and sorrow. The censorship in Fahrenheit 451 also causes characters to become mindless. The characters have no control over their lives. Millie’s dependency on her television family played a role in Montag’s obsession with finding out what it was that made books so evil.

What was so bad about them they had to be banned? Seeing Millie become so obsessed with television programs was very disturbing to Montag: (cit.) He saw how Millie was becoming mindless, unable to think for herself.

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