Theme Of Eradication In Fahrenheit 451

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Ray Bradbury on the Eradication of the Individual

Considered by many to be a piece of classic American literature, Fahrenheit 451 focuses on themes of censorship and autonomy. Bradbury tells the story of Guy Montag and his journey from burning books to saving them. One of the major themes of Fahrenheit 451 the eradication of the individual through pressure from minorities, the avoidance of pain and the distractions of technology.
Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books, which are illegal to own. His wife, Mildred, floods herself with TV and radio constantly. Then, Guy Montag meets Clarisse McClellan, who considered a queer sort of girl who likes to think and ask questions. She asks Guy, "Are you happy?" This is a turning point in the novel, …show more content…

According to Abdol Joodaki's paper "Supervision without Vision: Post-Foucauldian Surveillance in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, "In the world of Fahrenheit 451, books are burned because they originate thought that leads to controversy and results in unhappiness.." (Joodaki 6) On Guy's journey, one of the questions he asks is "Did fireman always burn houses?" (Bradbury 31) The Fire Captain Beatty, while providing something of an explanation, says, "Bigger the population, the more minorities…All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did." (Bradbury 55) This is Bradbury expressing the effect what he calls "minor pressure" on the quality of books. To put it in more modern terms, his connotation is similar to what is nowadays known as "political correctness." What this amounted to was book authors never stepping on someone's toes or being offensive. This lowered the quality of books significantly because authors could never say what they wanted to say without offending some minority. Obviously, Bradbury is not saying that being overtly offensive is necessary to communicating meaning. He has a more balanced view, that the freedom to express original, and often different, ideas and opinions is the method that makes great literature and content possible. This idea of being …show more content…

Abdol Joodaki says in his paper "The Ubiquitous Effect of Television and Dominant Surveillance in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451": "Books are outlawed and the mindless society immerses itself in different kinds of distraction such as television, seashell radio, loud music, addiction, medication and fast automobiles as ways to being happy and to escaping from responsibilities and realities of life" (Joodaki 3). One of the things that make books unique, says Faber, is their ability to show us, in his words, the "pores" of life (Bradbury 80). He says in the same conversation, "So now do you see what books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless" (Bradbury 80). Books are hated because they show us reality as it is, not how we desire it. For the people in Fahrenheit 451, to be alone with your thoughts is to face reality. This is clearly illustrated in the conversation with Guy, Mildred, Mrs. Phelps, and Mrs. Bowles. After Guy reads a poem, Mrs. Phelps begins sobbing uncontrollably. Then Mrs. Bowles says emphatically, "I knew it would happen! I've always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings, poetry and sickness; all that much! Now I've had it proved to me" (Bradbury 98). Thus, because literature brings the people pain, the people abhor and

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