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Fahrenheit 451 Essay

1218 words - 5 pages

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a fictional novel about a man who breaks through a brainwashed society and tries to find a truer meaning to his life. The book describes a vivid picture of a world where books are burned as if it was normal. The story mentions that the setting takes place in America, and that the time period is in the future. Fahrenheit 451 centers on a fireman, Guy Montag, who burns houses and the books which they are housed. However, because the houses are fireproof Montag is ultimately only burning books. I believe that Ray Bradbury shows a prophecy of an insane future for a modern world and that it is impossible for an individual to beat a system but has an option to escape from it.The system in Bradbury's world is represented by Montag’s wife, Mildred. Although Mildred is not the most important character, she is important for understanding the system. Mildred is a shallow woman and bases her life on a T.V show called “Family”. In fact, Mildred is so shallow that she cannot even think properly. As a result, she does not have morals or values because it is beyond her comprehension. The book shows Mildred’s impaired judgment when she takes in a full bottle of sleeping pills. Although she was not committing suicide, Mildred did not even notice. Usually one feels depressed or very sad when committing suicide, however Mildred was neither and it concludes that she does not feel either. These monotone images of Mildred that Bradbury depicts are essentially the system in which Montag lives and breathes in.Montag continues to live in this system of bliss until he meets a young girl named Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse was considered an ‘oddball’ in the society; she was part of the minority. Clarisse represents the individual challenging the system which in Bradbury’s world, is masked by his surreal society. Clarisse was a piece of a small group of people who dared to think. They dared to contemplate situations in life. However, the world is so twisted that thinking has become a crime. Clarisse was able to pull Montag out of the system and show him what it is like from the outside, to see how the system really works and what it is really doing. Her words and thoughts proved to be so powerful to Montag that at first he was confused by them. Montag was so intrigued by Clarisse that he began to challenge the system. However, people like Clarisse cannot live with people like Mildred because Clarisse’s level of competency is much higher than Mildred’s. This example also shows how an individual differs from a system. While systems are linear and dull like Mildred, Clarisse as an individual is able to ponder and think in different and unique ways where Mildred cannot. Clarisse also demonstrates another quality for an individual who is not part of the system: when a person has a conflict with the society, that person has the option to escape and run away from it. However Clarisse did not run away and...

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