The Role Of Free Speech In Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

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The idea of free speech is nearly universally accepted in the modern world. Places where free speech is limited are almost never a truly positive society. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, free speech is changed by removing mediums to express ideas and by threatening punishments for speaking out. Bradbury warns that the consequences of these alterations are a close-minded approach to life and an addiction to mindless entertainment.
The burning of books is limiting free speech by removing a medium to express ideas and opinions. The government’s main vision is that by burning books, people will become happy. This theory is debatable, but it clearly defies the freedom of speech. Censorship of this degree violates free speech by suppressing ideas, as shown when Beatty claims “‘Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it.”(59). By removing books with conflicting ideas like this, the government is systematically destroying the idea of free speech. When people cannot express their ideas freely, free speech is being vehemently defied.Equally consequential is the effect that burning books has on people’s political knowledge. Considering that the government’s goal is to keep people content with their political views, Beatty explains that “‘If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him. . . . give him none.’”(61). The government’s method of censoring political information is burning books, and therefore, free speech is
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