Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury which was published in 1953. I strongly believe that the censorship portrayed in Fahrenheit 451 greatly limits the freedom of its characters and thus the aforementioned censorship would be disastrous in our world, throughout this analysis I will back up this statement. The problem of censorship is extremely prominent throughout the plot of the story as Guy Montag, the lead character is a fireman who burns books and literature in a futuristic dystopian portrayal of America in order to avoid the majority of the population developing conflicting opinions and offensive ideals. The society in Fahrenheit 451 is brainwashed by government run TV channels which continuously play bland unmeaningful shows along with the Seashell Radio sets playing constantly around them.
Guy Montag works under the guidance of his Captain, Beatty who is a fireman himself and leads the firefighters to their missions of burning books and pieces of literature wherever an alarm is set off. However Guy Montag grows tired of his life as a fireman as he continues to increasingly contemplate his life and what he is doing with it further intensified when Clarisse, a teenage girl asks him if he is truly happy. Furthermore Montag watches in a recent book extinguishing mission as an old lady chose to be burned alive along with her books which clearly shows how much meaning literature had in her life and how much freedom it gave her however he also notices Beatty quoting a book on the very same day. This pushes him over the edge and he decides to read a stash of stolen books from which he wanted to find some sort of enlightenment and freedom in his life. Eventually Captain Beatty explained to Montag the importance of Censorship and how the people have brought this fate upon themselves by getting offended too easily and starting riots from differing opinions so as a result more and more authors became hesitant to write freely. Beatty concluded that the way things are now is essential to keep the peace in the modern world so burning books was the best option to avoid conflicting opinions. This however contrasts what an old English professor named Faber teaches Montag so he realizes the importance of books and the freedom of acting upon the detailed information of the certain book.
Eventually Montag’s wife turns him in to Beatty and the firemen as she also shares a hatred for books. However within the conflict Montag kills Beatty and escapes with Faber to the land of the intellectuals who memorize literature and pass it down each generation, this can be analysed as a way to keep the freedom flowing in a otherwise censor heavy world. Using this method the idea of countering the censorship is still valid and eventually in the near future if the intellectuals are able to rebuild civilization then the strict censorship will disappear and freedom of human speech will arise once again. But why does all of this matter? The idea of freedom has long kept humans in our world and in the world of literature hopeful, feeling free gives us a sense of strength and hope whether it may be true or false. That is why when Beatty uses censorship to control the citizens of Fahrenheit 451 in some citizens this creates the feeling of restriction, hopelessness and overall domination by a superior, I will further inquire into how exactly this restriction I have mentioned affects the characters in the novel and why exactly would it restrict them. Along with that so that we can have a better understanding of the restriction I will compare us humans in the real world to the characters in the novel. Censorship, freedom of speech, equality and human rights are all extremely prevalent parts of our society, they control our everyday lives more than we care to think and if we even lost one of them our lives would be completely different. Understanding the importance of freedom and the effects of censorship in our life will help us connect on a deeper level with the characters of Ray Bradbury’s novel.
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