Fahrenheit 451 Comparison Essay

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Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury’s Prediction of the Future
TREVOR YOUNG

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury that depicts a futuristic American society where books are banned and independent thought is persecuted. Bradbury uses his imagination to take a hard look at a world consumed by technology, and he presents predictions about pleasure, violence and anti-intellectualism that are alarmingly similar to the modern American society. Notably, in both societies people find pleasure in entertainment that is endlessly preoccupying. Second, people are violent and careless. Finally, anti-intellectualism and suppression of independent thought affect both societies, as firemen ban books in Fahrenheit 451 and, in the
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The “Fun Park” and the theme of violence in Fahrenheit 451 are very similar to an annual contest currently held in Albany, New York. It is an organized event where children use various types of guns to shoot and kill as many squirrels as they can within a certain time. The child with the heaviest bag of squirrels wins. Adults say this is a great way for children to let out their anger and get closer to nature (1). Modern American society clearly provides examples that are just as brainwashed and idiotic as exhibited by the people of Fahrenheit 451’s society.

Finally, throughout the novel Bradbury presents a conflict between ignorance and understanding. The general society is being numbed into believing that knowledge makes people disagree with each other and unhappy. To prevent people from reading and gaining knowledge, the firemen burn all books. By committing these actions, they are promoting sameness and ignorance, to supposedly maintain happiness among society. Captain Beatty explains the history of firemen to Montag, speaking of their society’s view of equality. “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind.” (Bradbury, page 58) Captain Beatty is hinting that books encourage people to question authority and think about why things are done the way they are
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