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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 Essay

1319 words - 6 pages

Imagine a society where owning books is illegal, and the penalty for their possession—to watch them combust into ashes. Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451, illustrates just such a society. Bradbury wrote his science fiction in 1951 depicting a society of modern age with technology abundant in this day and age—even though such technology was unheard of in his day. Electronics such as headphones, wall-sized television sets, and automatic doors were all a significant part of Bradbury’s description of humanity. Human life styles were also predicted; the book described incredibly fast transportation, people spending countless hours watching television and listening to music, and the minimal interaction people had with one another. Comparing those traits with today’s world, many similarities emerge. Due to handheld devices, communication has transitioned to texting instead of face-to-face conversations. As customary of countless dystopian novels, Fahrenheit 451 conveys numerous correlations between society today and the fictional society within the book.
Kids today, or people that have never read before, see the fascination of books and develop a curiosity and desire to read. Frederick Douglass is an example of that same desire. Before learning to read, Frederick believed that black people were destined to be the white man’s slaves. It was normal for slaves to do back-breaking work and get whipped for doing anything wrong. It wasn’t until Douglass learned to read that the life of a slave was actually wrong and he wished to live a free life. “Suddenly, Douglass sees this whole education thing in a new light: if he can learn to read, he reasons, he won't have to be a slave anymore.”(Shmoop) It is highly illegal for anyone to keep or even read books or else the consequence is a scorched house. Knowing this, Montag never risked associating himself with books until he witnesses a lady chooses to be burned along with her books, believing it is better to die with her books rather than live without them. This sparks Montag’s interest in books and wanted to know why she chose death over life without books. He began secretly reading and hiding books without anyone knowing. He pondered why people weren't allowed to read books even though they were thought provoking and actually interesting instead of an object that must be incinerated. Preventing everyone from reading is impossible, it cannot be done. There will always be someone that will eventually start asking questions about books due to the excess amount and accessibility to them. After learning to read, the other slaves that worked with Frederick Douglass became frightened of him because of his new found skill of reading, believing him to be a liability that could get them whipped or killed. It was also suggested by the slave masters that slaves should not be allowed to read, as it was against the law for slaves to read. Montag experiences the same thing when his wife and her friends discover that he has...

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