Fahrenheit 451 Conformity Essay

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Discuss the theme of conformity in Fahrenheit 451. How do characters like Mildred and the citizens of Bradbury's dystopian society represent the dangers of conformity, and what message does the author offer about the importance of individualism and critical thinking?

In the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury depicts conformity as the norm of his dystopian society. As much as the author openly criticizes conformity and promotes individuality, the citizens of the society appear to act contrary to his beliefs. Desperately needing to highlight the importance of thinking, reading and overall advancement, Bradbury shows the consequences through Mildred, Captain Beatty and the other general population.
Fahrenheit 451 and the dystopian society correlate …show more content…

Individualism alongside critical thinking were seen as the main “enemies” of Bradbury’s conformist society. In his novel, Clarisse for one was the embodiment of “a free soul”. She came from a family of questionnaires and not followers. In a society where one of the biggest punishments is being removed from it or cast out, her acting out of norm made others find her antisocial. "I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this." (Carisse) The quote demonstrated Clarisse’s differences with the others in the society. She asked why rather than how, and did not care about being ostracized by others. Her mind and thoughts were more important to her than her social standing. That alone suggested that, in contrast to people like Mildred, she would go and face any adversity presented and refuse to conform to the expectations of others. Through her dialogue with Montag and Clarisse's question “Are you happy?” or “We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” that shows that she was “awake” enough to recognize that real happiness does not just come from distractions. Although individuality was looked down upon as explained by Captain Beatty “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon.", Clarisse, despite her death, remained a symbol of the resistance and critical thinking that was severely

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