Cold War in the Eyes of Ray Bradbury

1689 WordsJun 20, 20187 Pages
Ray Bradbury, from small town America (Waukegan, Illinois), wrote two very distinctly different novels in the early Cold War era. The first was The Martian Chronicles (1950) know for its “collection” of short stories that, by name, implies a broad historical rather than a primarily individual account and Fahrenheit 451 (1953), which centers on Guy Montag. The thematic similarities of Mars coupled with the state of the American mindset during the Cold War era entwine the two novels on the surface. Moreover, Bradbury was “preventing futures” as he stated in an interview with David Mogen in 1980. A dystopian society was a main theme in both books, but done in a compelling manner that makes the reader aware of Bradbury’s optimism in the…show more content…
The fire that chokes the life from the autonomous house is ironically man’s first invention and a similar fire is used by Montag to: burn the homes of books, to choke the life out of intellect, and to smother the lungs of those who speak out in Fahrenheit 451. A chaotic flamethrower is used instead a simple fire to show the pure hatred by the general population of books and the “sadness” they can cause by thinking. This is a loose tie to the two books but; nonetheless, a symbolic and therefore important one. Beyond its symbolism, it also is a metaphor. One could conclude that the fire more fittingly acknowledges starting new again with a blank slate. It is a tree that sets off a chain reaction of events in “There Will Come Soft Rains” which, ironically means after all of man’s destruction to one another nature overtakes the house, the last façade of man, with mans first invention –fire—the great equalizer. Just as Montag had thought to himself in Fahrenheit 451, “One, two, three, one, two, three! Rain”(Bradbury 48). There will come soft rain to wash it all away. When speaking of the Cold War one can envision the “McCarthism” under Truman that had entrenched the U.S. in a very mean spirited paranoia that blossomed into fear and irrational thought. This illusion of “potentially disloyal” was swallowed by many and created a, as William Touponce put it, “mass culture” that Bradbury could not stomach. This theme of distrust in the majority
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