Deception Of Happiness In Fahrenheit 451

891 words - 4 pages

If one doesn’t know that they’re sad, they’re always happy. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is set in a future where books are banned and conformity is pressured. Firemen burn books, and information is censored. Without an ability to question, one cannot question their own happiness. With censorship, anything that can cause you to is removed, and this effect is increased. With reliance on technology, one is so immersed that it becomes almost impossible to question anything, let alone think for oneself, and they can be made to think that they are happy, when in reality, they aren’t. Because the government in Fahrenheit 451 removed the ability to question, censors books and ideas, and creates a reliance on technology, the people in Fahrenheit 451 have deceived themselves into believing they are happy and content.
Because the Government removed the ability to question, the people in Fahrenheit 451 have deceived themselves into believing that they are happy. Guy Montag had been harbouring books for quite a long time, but only recently made it known to his wife. She had friends over, and he took out a poem book and read from it, in front of his wife’s dumbfounded friends. “Then he began to read...Mrs. Phelps was crying. The others...watched her crying grow very loud as her face squeezed itself out of shape....She sobbed uncontrollably... "Sh, sh," said Mildred. "You're all right, Clara,... Clara, what's wrong?" "I-I,", sobbed Mrs. Phelps, "don't know, don't know, I just don't know, oh oh...””. The poem book caused Mrs. Phelps to actually think about her life for the first time ever. Government censorship prevented the people from ever being exposed to material that would make them question. For the first time, she thought about her life, and as she thought, she realized that she wasn’t happy. She realized that she was living in a bubble of illusion. For her entire life, she believed that she was happy (just like everyone else in the Fahrenheit 451 society), but suddenly realized that she was living a lie. It would be equally shocking for any one of us to realize something of the same magnitude. Earlier in the book, Montag and Clarisse were talking, and she asked him if he was truly happy. He at first said yes, but later he realized the truth. “He felt his smile slide away, melt, fold over, and down on itself... He was not happy... He recognized this as the true state of affairs.” Montag had his happiness shattered by a single question. He didn’t have the same drastic reaction as Mrs. Phelps, but he was still depressed for days, and realized that he...

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