Fahrenheit 451

Essay by cupples5High School, 11th gradeA, October 2014

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The novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury takes place in a dystopian society where everything is complete chaos . The main character , Guy Montag , lives in a society where his job as a firefighter includes burning books daily ." Monday burn Millay , Wednesday Whitman , Friday Faulkner , burn ' em to ashes , then burn the ashes . That ' s our official slogan "( Bradbury 6). Throughout the novel , Bradbury gives details trying to show the possible outcome of society if certain trends continue . The novel Fahrenheit 451 shows how society is destroying itself by the lack of social interaction , the governments role in society , and the inability for people to think for themselves .

Throughout the book , Bradbury makes a point to show the complete lack of social interaction in many parts of the novel . With the increase in technology , such as the seashells and parlor walls , interaction between each other has significantly decreased . Mildred spends most of her day either in the parlor or listening to the seashells ." She had both ears plugged with electronic bees that were humming the hour away "( Bradbury 16). Mildred uses the seashells to get away from reality and escape all that is going on around her . Mildred is also very connected with the TVs in the parlor . She thinks of them as her " family ". Whenever Montag is sick he asks Mildred to turn off the parlor and she does not want to . She replies " that ' s my family "( Bradbury 46). This shows that Mildred cares more for the people on her television shows than her actual husband . She has gained more of a connection with the people on TV than the people in reality .

Another factor showing that society is destroying itself is largely because of the governments role . The government is the whole reason the books are being burnt . The government is afraid that people will gain too much information and knowledge from the books and will one day overpower the government . Therefore the government is censoring what the people are allowed to know . This is a huge problem because without books as a source of information , the only way people can receive information is from what the government puts out there for the people on television and radios . The government has also changed the role of firefighters in this society . In the beginning of the book Clarisse asks ," is it true that long ago firemen put out fires instead of of going to start them ?". Montag tells her no because houses have always been fireproof ( Bradbury 6). This shows how a job that was once helpful and stopped destruction is now the cause of it .

Lastly , the inability for people to think for themselves is a major reason for the destruction of society . Since people of this time do not read , they do not necessarily think about what they are hearing . They will just believe any information that is given to them . Even in schools they are not exactly learning . The students are just given false information and are not actually taught anything . As Beatty says ," cram them full of noncombustible data , chock them so damned full of ' fact ' they feel stuffed , but absolutely ' brilliant ' with information . Then they ' ll feel they ' re thinking , they ' ll get a sense of motion without moving "( Bradbury 58). In this society , it was even bad to be thought of as intellectual . As Beatty says ," with school turning out more runners , jumpers , racers , tinkerers , grabbers , snatchers , fliers , and swimmers instead of examiners , critics , knowers , and imaginative creators , the word ` intellectual ,' of course , became the swear word it deserved to be "( Bradbury 55). Not only is it just the citizens that are unable to think for themselves , the same goes for the hound as well ," that ' s sad ," said Montag , quietly ," because all we put into it is hunting and finding and killing . What a shame if that ' s all it can ever know "( Bradbury 25). The hound will never be able to think for itself . It will always be told what to do much like the people in this society .

By the end of the novel it is easy to point out all the mistakes in the society that led to its own destruction . If books had not been burnt in this society many of the problems that occurred most likely could have been avoided ." The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are . They ' re Caeser ' s praetorian guard ," Remember , Caeser , thou art mortal ." Most of us can ' t rush around , talking to everyone , know all the cities of the world , we haven ' t time , money or that many friends . The things you ' re looking for , Montag , are in the world , but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety - nine per cent of them is in a book . Don ' t ask for guarantees . And don ' t look to be saved in any one thing , person , machine , or library . Do your own bit of saving , and if you drown , at least die knowing you were headed for shore " as Granger said ( Bradbury 147). In Fahrenheit 451, the lack of communication and relations between people , the government not wanting people to gain information , and the inability for people to think for themselves is what leads to the destruction of society .