The Theme Of Conformity In Fahrenheit 451

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A predominate theme in Fahrenheit 451 is conformity. Bradbury utilizes the contrast between Mildred and Clarisse to compare the ideal, conforming citizen to the non-conforming outcast of society. Society believes that “books make people unhappy, they make them anti-social” (Bradbury 8). It also believes that the citizens should all be alike, equal and politically correct as to not offend “dog lovers, the cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchant, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico” (57). Mildred conforms to these requirements, but Clarisse marches to her own drums. The theme of conformity is highlighted by the contrast of Mildred and Clarisse regarding their social interactions, their emotional well-being and their critical thinking. Mildred and Clarisse have very different views on social interaction. Mildred views the parlor, a room encompassing,…show more content…
Mildred has been influenced by society and represents the ideal citizen in that her social interactions are minimal, she is numb to her own emotions, and she avoids thinking for herself. Clarisse is the complete opposite of Mildred and is connected to her family and Montag, happy and a free thinker. She has been influenced by her non-conforming uncle, but since society snuffs out non-conformity, it is not surprising that Clarisse meets an abrupt end. Mildred, as the symbol of the majority, is appropriately destroyed with the rest of the society. The majority will always herd us to thoughtless, emotionless, disconnected conformity. We must refuse to be cattle as “the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, [is] the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the
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