Censorship in Fahrenheit 451
In the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, we are taken on an adventure where books have become outlawed, technology is at its all-time high, life is at a high speed, and human interactions are not tolerated. This novel was published in 1953. It is regarded as one of the best novels written. The use of censorship would be a great change throughout the novel of Fahrenheit 451. Also, the fact that free exchange would make a difference in the individuals throughout the dystopian society. People would believe in themselves as well as understanding what’s going on around them as a society. Bradbury uses the theme of censorship to show the value of the free exchange of ideas in a society.
First, it might be helpful to discuss the censorship in a society of citizen who isn’t able to communicate and learn on their own. The fact that it would take plenty of detail and learning to reorganize society in a way they can learn what’s going on behind them. It was based on material that is considered harmful, inappropriate and controlled by the government. In Censorship in All Seasons Eric explained that The concerns of the day, the author was living in, can provide a useful backdrop for considering society’s potential for both good and evil(Eric 3). In this time, books and critical thinking wasn’t encouraged and it became an evil thing to do. The society was influenced that if you betrayed the laws, you would be punished for not obeying the outlaws. But society was focused on entertainment, and satisfaction and speeding through the relevance of life without no clue of knowledge. In the article Symbolism and The Dystopian Tradition Rajita explains Humans who are so prone to accept technological advancement and its comforts should also preserve their human touch, morality, and above all values( Thakur, Diviya 5). The fears apply in the society in which they rely on what they heard, instead of what they have learned.
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In addition to the novel citizens ensure that censorship will continue. People started to become aware of how the law works and started telling on others who weren’t obeying. The people wanted things done in a fast speed which is why they all followed the law. In the article Social Criticism it says, The government doesn’t want people to question anything politically in a large scale, the society they live in, the rules and the acts laid down by the government because if they do, some problems may lead to the detriment of government ( Harmaoglu 1537). The use of censorship shuts out the information that should be given to a society on what goes on behind the society and know just what they want them to know. The fact that Montag was inspired by Clarisse to question the law and see it for what it makes a difference. Clarisse begins by stating her opinion on what she believes in. Montag and Faber planned to plant books inside of the homes of firemen so that the firemen will get arrested. In addition to that, there wouldn’t be anyone to enforce the anti-book laws. Using critical thinking in any form wasn’t tolerated. These characters were encouraged by one another to get some use of knowledge and critical thinking no matter what the consequences were.
In Fahrenheit 451, knowledge is gained through facts, information, still acquired by a person through experience or education. The fact people don’t have the capability of learning on their own or being composed of learning shows control the government has. In the article Constructing Critical Literacy, It states that Through our participation in these communities. Or social worlds, we develop skills in using particular objects, or tools or text to accomplish the activities valued within these social worlds (Myers & Beach 258). In other words, we still use knowledge as a representational toward censorship. On the other hand, knowledge is developed through living a free life and being able to make your own decisions as people. In fact, you learn from the mistakes in which you make and you give yourself opportunities to overcome those situations. However, the characters in Fahrenheit 451 had no room for mistakes, but they also had no room to grow or learn for themselves. In Fahrenheit 451 it says But our way is simpler, we think better.
All we want to do is keep the knowledge we think we will need intact and safe. We’re not out to incite or anger anyone yet. For if we are destroyed, the knowledge is dead, perhaps for good (Bradbury 152). The fact that knowledge helps us gain what we need to know is very satisfying. In the novel, Bradbury specifically criticized that with the use of censorship it will put a decrease of knowledge in the brain of society. Censorship is shutting out the information that’s not appropriate. Clarisse was powered with self-awareness and reveals the absence of love, pleasure, and content in the story. The trigger to the story was Clarisse, who was quiet and very anti-social. She knew what was right and she stood up and made other realize it as well. She influenced and told some use of knowledge that she believed. In the novel Clarisse says, You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think about what I’ve asked you (Bradbury 6). The fact that she takes things very serious and it aware and other aren’t painting the pictures that need to be painted.
In the dystopian society, it’s an imaginary society that is dehumanizing and unpleasant. They are told to obey the rules and follow all tactics that were being made. In their world being an individual was sinning. In fact, you were considered different you were dangerous and not trusted by anyone in that society. On the other hand, the dystopian society is where the fireman burned the books, instead of putting the fires out as normal firemen would. The society was controlled by population, media and the use of censorship. However, dystopian society basically means human misery, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. The fact that Ray Bradbury is illustrating what the society should be like right now. It was intended to make criticism of the idea of manipulating the idea of knowledge and wanting to speak for oneself. Not to mention, in the symbolism and the dystopian tradition article it says In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury presents the dystopia which depicts numbing effects on the mankind that they refuse to think ( Thakur & Diviya 237). This article suggests that even in this dystopian society things will eventually start to unravel and people will start to understand what’s going on around them. The world in which was in a harmful and manipulating time was forced to watch and in fact, learn what they were being told. Montag starts to explain that Nobody listens anymore. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk enough, it’ll make sense (Bradbury 125). The use of the parlor walls, seashells, and the mechanical hound was a way of showing the dystopian world in which they resided in the use of technology. Ray Bradbury portrayed technology in a negative way. He believed that academic was the key to success and not anything else. These symbols are showing what the free exchange of ideas will portray from the novel.
As a result of the fire in Fahrenheit 451 it symbolizes the temperature in which firemen burn. The fact that firemen are burning books is showing the control they have over the citizens. In addition to the novel in which has plenty of symbols that have a meaning behind them and what they represent.. The fact that fire symbolizes destruction has a huge impact on why censorship is a big part of this novel. As stated in the novel, It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see this eaten, to see things blackened and changed (Bradbury 1). This quote is suggesting that there are darkness and destruction. It has a highly negative effect on this society. The Hearth and the salamander represent symbolism. A hearth is a fireplace in which is traditionally inside of a home. The fact that a salamander could live in a fireplace and not be burned in any kind of way. These symbols are a great way to show the use of fire and the fact that society is ruined by the fact that books are a bad thing to read and understand. In the article Symbolism and the dystopian tradition Thakur says, It is ironic to note that Montag and others believe themselves to be salamander but the mighty flames destroy them (Thakur & Diviya 239). In other words, they all thought they couldn’t be destroyed by fire in which destroyed them anyway. The fire also symbolizes something positive such as goodness and warmth around you. The fact that at the beginning of the story it was thought out to be a destruction and now it will symbolize warmth and hope.
The mechanical hound is programmed to hunt down those who do not conform to society’s ways. The hound was a family hound in which protected and bring everyone together. It was a suppresses those who enjoyed life in a devouring manor. Technology censors Montag’s world, restricting their ability to socialize, learn, or share information with one another. The use of technology is so prevalent and mindless some feel threatened like Montag. Government is manipulating the citizens to only use what they have created for them. Bradbury used technology to manipulate and control the people in the society. The walls in people’s living rooms are a television in which laughter, words, and music all come out of. The seashell is mainly alike earbuds in which you out to your ear and you can hear things come through it. The mechanical hound is basically a watchdog in which terrorizes and harms folks who intend to break the laws around the society. As stated in the article A Marxist Criticism Bradbury says, The role of technology is usually relegated to a role as the perpetrator of working-class misery where the increase in the efficiency of machinery in factories cause the worker more and more ( Bradbury 9). The mechanical hound was the main use of technology in the society to get a hold of people who weren’t following the guidelines of the government. The mechanical hound was a mechanical robot that is dangerous and threatening according to society. It follows the rule of Captain Beatty and also isn’t perfect at all. In the article A Marxist Criticism of Fahrenheit 451, The second, less overt purpose of the hound is far more sinister(Bradbury 9). In addition to this quote, it stating that there is more aggression to this mechanical hound than what people think. Ray Bradbury describes the useful ways of technology but also how they ruin in alternative ways. Technology creates a lifestyle in which some simulations you would have to think and concentrate on certain aspects.
Throughout Fahrenheit 451 there were plenty of interactions that included violence in society. Almost every character has a relatively violent side of them. In addition to the novel, teenagers are going around killing one another. The television is filled with the use of violence and the speed and destruction of a vehicle as well. In the article Social Criticism Harmaoglu says, Since torture is not only limited to physical suffering but also encompassed mind control, brainwashing, and indoctrination, it can be surely accepted as a means of violence ( Harmaoglu 1538). This quote explains what is going on in the novel and how people are thinking and being controlled. The fact that the youngster is killing one another is an act of violence which results from what they have seen and been around. The fact that many people died throughout this novel such as Mildred, Clarisse and the woman who died with her books. The main use of violence was the bloodhound that was used to destroy those who did not conform to society’s ways. On another occasion, Clarisse explains how she was afraid of kids her age and the fact that 6 of them had died within the last year. This all ties into the use of censorship mainly because of its other information, public communication, harmful and suppression of speech. Violence indicates physical force, damage, abuse and destroying of things. These two things have a major effect on the society of Fahrenheit 451. The fact that people are being manipulated and only being taught what they want them to hear makes it worse. People are affected by the things that go on in front of there eyes and they tend to follow the leader and not be the leader.
In conclusion, censorship had a major effect on society’s knowledge and characteristics in Fahrenheit 451. The fact that Bradbury created a society in which was in the dystopian society was a use of science fiction. Bradbury focused on the society and ways to keep them distracted from what was going on around them. The use of not having knowledge was affecting them from knowing what’s going on in the world they were living in. Distracted from the world and only knowing what’s on television and what you hear is what you call brainwashing as well as mind control. The use of control in this society has the characters all screwed up. The value of free exchange that Bradbury used was technology, ignorance, and violence to portray his way of showing us a society in which is mind controlled. Most of the individuals never came to their senses besides those who stood up for what they truly believed should happen. Faber and Montag came up with a great idea to get others to understand by planting books in firemen’s houses that way there was nobody to blame. Ray Bradbury used the theme of censorship to show the value of free exchange of ideas in Fahrenheit 451.