Dystopian Society In Pleasantville's Fahrenheit 451

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Living in a society with free sharing of knowledge allows individuals to use others’ viewpoints to determine their own perceptions. Many develop their identity and outlook of the world through sharing ideas in schools, literature, with peers, and in the media. However, when this communication process is limited or suppressed, people are inhibited from making fair assumptions and decisions. While this limits the freedom of individuals, societal systems can benefit from censorship since they can control ideas while preventing strife. These suppressive structures are seen in the societies of Pleasantville, by Gary Ross, and Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, as both dystopian societies create a false sense of security through the lack of any conflicts …show more content…

Citizens of Pleasantville have certain knowledge about themselves and society, but because of limited ideas, individuals are stuck with the same opportunities and values. A specific example of this is the view on gender roles: men hold power as the head of society, while women stay at home to cook and clean. There are no opportunities to change this structure, as the communication of ideas is limited to what is known, and individuals are not exposed to anything new. Everything learned and mentioned in society is all based off of predetermined ideas, and thus, there is no conflict. While this lifestyle provides harmony and order, conformity actually limits them from exploring greater opportunities. The town leadership fears a true deviation from the accepted social order, and as a result, the citizens of Pleasantville conform to this system. On the other hand, when individuals start voicing out their opinions, new ideas challenge the false peace they had in their conformity. After Bud and Mary Sue introduce different and rather contradictory ideas, like sex, color, and individuality, people start pursuing their passions as individuals, rather than society as a whole. With all these changes, individuals burst into color when choosing to leave “pleasant” behind for the freedom to express personal ideas and identity. Consequently, these new concepts creates disparity, specifically as society viewed gender roles differently than the new stances taken by women. This can be seen when George arrives home to find that Betty is mysteriously absent, but, more importantly, so is his dinner. Women, like Betty, are no longer constraining themselves to their limiting roles as housewives, and instead, they are communicating their new sense of freedom through actually studying in libraries and also through sexuality. This creates conflict between

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