Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, published October 19, 1953, reached Americans shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War and in the midst of the Cold War. The Cold War brought about McCarthyism, also known as the Red Scare, leaving Americans confused and scared for the fate of the future. World War II introduced new wartime technologies that had Americans believing anything was possible which produced an increase in science fiction writings. The 1950s saw an unprecedented rise in these technologies with limited regulations on such inventions. Bradbury sought to write a science fiction novel that did not serve the purpose of pure entertainment like other publications of the time, instead he wanted to relay a message that makes readers …show more content…

The genre first gained popularity in the 1930s as a way to entertain Americans during the Great Depression with John Campbell’s magazine Astounding Science Fiction. In the decade after, America was shook by its entrance into WWII. The US witnessed the introduction of new weapons and technology. In 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik, which allowed the first humans in space. The public’s imagination ran rampant with ideas of space, dystopia, technological societies, etc. A new generation of authors inspired by Cambell started publishing works throughout the late 1940s to 1950s. Most of these authors followed Cambell’s “laws” that science fiction works should stick strictly to a basis of existing human scientific knowledge. However, Bradbury strayed from the flock, “his early impression of Science Fiction revolved around wild stories that were set in ‘exotic and wonderful locales’ which were almost entirely devoid of literary wealth; these were simple entertainment stories” (Fox 1). Bradbury started out an avid fan of science fiction and took his hand at writing, but didn’t want to be confined to standard works. He published numerous short stories in any magazine that he could find. Leading him to, in fact, state that he does not write sci-fi. Most of his works did not revolve around knowledge of science but fantasy, dystopia, and the future. Fahrenheit …show more content…

This led to a phenomenon known as McCarthyism, named after Senator McCarthy. He was a crusader against communism and started accusing people of being communist supporters without cause. A part of his crusade was against books that he believed included communist propaganda, he began ordering their removal from libraries. Many were worried that book burnings were soon to come. Bradbury, personally, stood against the practice, “direct historical motivation from WWII is illuminated early on in Bradbury’s life when he was ‘sitting in a Los Angeles movie theater when he first saw newsreel footage of Nazis burning books.’ This image stunned him because he said they were, 'burning my alma mater’ and he decided then and there that, ‘I hated book burners and I loved libraries,’” (Fox 1). Bradbury felt a deep connection to books since he did not have formal college education. He saw the value and knowledge to be gained from them, a reason he wrote such a thought-stirring novel where reading books became illegal. In Fahrenheit 451 the firefighters' job was not to help civilians, but instead to burn books. Bradbury worried what sort of society would exist if book burning were to happen, “I am a preventer of futures, not a predictor of them. I wrote Fahrenheit 451 to prevent book-burnings, not to induce that future into happening,

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