book burning and censorship in Ray Bradbury's futuristic fiction "Fahrenheit 451"

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 1995

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Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns. A good

warning for aspiring librarians! In Ray Bradbury's futuristic fiction Fahrenheit 451, we are faced

with the issues of book burning and censorship, also with the problems that the ignorance caused

by these two things creates.

The story is of Guy Montag, a fireman. A man who loves to burn books, or so he thinks.

In his generation, the world has gone to pot. Idiocy and bliss run wild through the television sets

of future day America. His wife is hooked on the 'tube', and they have been breed to believe that

books are evil things. However, just as in all situations of this kind real or fictional, there is a

certain spark misssing in life. We see it in George Orwell's 1984 and we also see it in the

literature, motion pictures and art of the 20th century Chinese civil war.

He lacks the bit of

understanding in his environment, that makes his life hollow. Then we are introduced to Clarisse

McClellan, a young woman who opens his mind, teaches him to walk in the rain and rub

dandelions under his chin. More and more he drifts from where he should be to stay alive in a

comfortable way, and heads toward a realization of the lacking in his life. As he examines his

world he finds that the only thing he really knows is missing from his life are the books, the books

that he burns as an occupation. To find out whether or not this is it, he steals books as he

destroys them and eventually is caught by his fire chief, Beatty. Beatty plays an important part in

this tale as he serves to show him the flip side of realization. Beatty...