Perception is Reality An Essay on Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Essay by pookiexbearA+, November 2004

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Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois, and his family moved several times, eventually settling in Los Angeles in 1934. In his family were many publishers of books and not surprisingly, Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth. Among many other publications, Bradbury produced "The Fireman," a short story that appeared in the second issue of Galaxy Science Fiction (February 1951) and was expanded into Fahrenheit 451 (October 1953), his best and best-known novel. Initially published by Ballantine with two other stories, "The Playground" and "And the Rock Cried Out," Fahrenheit 451 was not published separately until the Ballantine paperback release in April 1960.

The immense amount of crime in America today exists primarily through the different forms of the media. Fahrenheit 451 introduces a new perception of reality in which control of the masses by the media, overpopulation, and censorship has taken over our society.

The open-minded and intellectual are suppressed to the conformity of free thought. In this two-hundred-and-eight paged book, Bradbury shows the life of a firefighter, Guy Montag, who burns books because of their contents rather than putting the actual danger of fire out itself.

The plot takes place some time in the future in a country whose society's main goal of living is pleasure and leisure. For ten years Montag has been working as a fireman. In these days, a fireman's task is to burn books unlike fighting against fires as we would think today about a fire fighter. In the government's and consequently in the society's opinion, the books containing problems and conflicting theories dispose the people to be anxious, sad or angry. That's what the government wants to avoid because those feelings could threaten the country's stability. Because books could cause anger and because they can...