The Main Themes of Fahrenheit 451. Every story has a variety of different themes, some are more prominent and
some take deeper analysis to discover. As themes help to portray the deeper
meaning of the story and can help the reader find new meaning and morals. The
story Fahrenheit 451 has many different themes, such as government harassment,
technology & paradox. But through deeper analysis of the story, I have come to a
conclusion that ignorance versus knowledge, censorship and rebellion are the
three most significant themes of the story.
! Ignorance versus Knowledge is one of the most important themes in Fahrenheit
451. The theme is suggested widely in the story and is the cause of conflict
between the protagonist and antagonist. As you can see from the quote, "If you
don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to
worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such
a thing as war" (BRADBURY'61). This quote shows how Beatty is convinced and is
trying to convince Montag to believe that ignorance is bliss because knowledge
is a curse and a burden. When Montag said "Somethings missing. I looked around.
The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or
twelve years. So I thought books might help" (BRADBURY'82). He is coming to the
self realization that he is not fully happy and neither are the people around
him. He realizes that without books, without knowledge, people can never be
truly happy. Therefore, it is clear that the theme ignorance versus knowledge
plays an important role in the story.
! Censorship also plays a big role in the story, it is one of the most
prominent themes in Fahrenheit 451. In this quote, "Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's
Cabin. Burn it. Someone's written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The
cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity Montag. Peace
Montag" (BRADBURY'59). Beatty explains how censorship is required for citizens
to be happy and to not cause conflict between them. The following quote shows
how the government uses mass media such as...