Fahrenheit 451

1651 Words7 Pages
Tamika Adams
Prof. Kordich
English 68
10 June 2013 Dreams that Destroy Freedom
American culture thrives on being ‘the land of the free’. The rags-to-riches story to the immigrant success story, seem to define the American Dream. We are told that these achievements can be done by adapting to America’s ideals and cultural norms. The ‘American Dream’ is attainable for those who fall in step with the majority. This conformity is illustrated in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In the novel, Guy Montag becomes disillusioned with the illiterate ignorance of his society. Through a series of tragic events, Montag finds the vapid world must be changed. This change will be the only way to attain true knowledge, thus freedom. This society,
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I’ve heard rumors; the world is starving, but we’re well fed” (Bradbury 73). The media only shows them what is directly around them. The citizens have no idea what world events are happening. By this isolation, it makes them only concerned with their surroundings. The disparity of others is only faint rumors and not a reality. This also is another tactic to make the citizens unsympathetic to each other. The lack of exposure to poverty and struggle makes them only want to engaged in spoiling themselves, which is a self-regulating control planted by the government. This idea of “fun” is directly provided by the government. The entertainment is there to engage the public to further distance from the disparities around them. Reality is never apparent when strong tools of denial are implemented by the government. The citizens prescribe themselves the poison of ignorance. The constant focus on self; thus, relates to self-image. Secondly, the society also has a profound impact on how the people see negative versions of themselves and others. This is a device of control over the citizens. Only one form of beauty is accepted and natural beauty is absent. Montag is observing Mildred and what she has done to morph into this society’s ideal. Montag envisions, “her hair burnt by chemicals to a brittle straw...the reddened pouting lips, the body as thin as a praying mantis from dieting, and her flesh like white bacon” (Bradbury 48). Mildred is ignorant the harm she

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