Monday, January 12, 2015

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

by Catherine Argyrople

Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a futuristic American society that has prospered and cultivated total control by censoring information from the general public. The purpose of government forces like the police and fire departments are altered from their current position in our lives today, solely present in the book for the purpose of cultivating universal conformity. To restrict knowledge, firemen in  burn books and ignite flames on the homes of those who disobey the rules additionally. Although firemen are supposed to extinguish flames, Bradbury twists their obligations to promote fear and conformity within society. The ironic firemen paradox is Bradbury’s underlying warning to the future of America, alluding to his belief that people should develop an identity of their own and not rely solely on official forces to control their lives. By burning books, Bradbury suggests that future Americans will try to hide knowledge and keep the greater population ignorant to the real problems going on.

Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is acknowledged as an American classic and I was surprised that I had never read it before. It is a short book compared to other classic novels, but Fahrenheit 451 in my opinion is much more interesting to read than other American literature that is required to read in school. If I were a teacher, I would take other books off of the required reading list to add Fahrenheit 451 on because it is a really deep and symbolic book.

This book reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games, not really for the plot but regarding the whole idea of a futuristic society with total control over its people.  I think that everybody should read this book every 20 years or so....  Fahrenheit 451, similar to Catcher in The Rye in this sense, is a timeless book that alters your perspective and makes you think about your life and society in general.

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