Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 Essay

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In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury uses the life of Guy Montag, a fireman in a near future dystopia, to make an argument against mindless conformity and blissful ignorance. In Bradbury’s world, the firemen that Montag is a part of create fires to burn books instead of putting out fires. By burning books, the firemen eliminate anything that might be controversial and make people think, thus creating a conforming population that never live a full life. Montag is part of this population for nearly 30 years of his life, until he meets a young girl, Clarisse, who makes him think. And the more he thinks, the more he realizes how no one thinks. Upon making this realization, Montag does the opposite of what he is supposed to; he begins to…show more content…
The problem that this dystopian society faces by continuing to live in ignorance is the fact that their ignorance is leading them to their own demise. Faber explains the society’s path to Montag shortly after Montag had extricated himself from the society’s trajectory of doom: “Pity, Montag, pity. Don’t haggle and nag them; you were so recently of them yourself. They are so confident that they will run on forever. But they won’t run on. They don’t know that this is all one huge big blazing meteor that makes a pretty fire in space, but that someday it’ll have to hit. They see only the blaze, the pretty fir, as you saw it” (103). Montag learns from Faber what ignorance will do to those who embrace it. He learns that the ignorance that used to bring him “happiness” is actually pulling the society towards it’s downfall, and he also begins to realize that the only solution is the knowledge found in books. The society in Fahrenheit 451 shuns the knowledge found in books in turn for the “knowledge” found in facts. They shy away from true knowledge because true knowledge requires people to think, and when someone thinks, there is a chance that they might think about something sad. As a leading force for the society’s destruction of true knowledge, Beatty explains to Montag the society’s want for immediate satisfaction and not something that may provide true happiness because it brings about sadness in the immediate
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