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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: Abolish Censorship

1616 words - 7 pages

During the 1950s, America was facing the competitions with Soviet Union. Cold War, fear of atomic warfare, and communism influences intensified the society’s instability. What’s more, many social problems attracted people’s focus: many writers “concerns about censorship and conformity during a period when free expression of ideas could lead to social and economic ostracization” (Telgen 138). Many essays and novels reflected this social background. However, one author, Ray Bradbury, became a preeminent writer in that era. His work not only pointed out that the people are becoming more and more apathy as well as the censorship problem, but also showed people’s fear about war.
Born in 1920, Ray ...view middle of the document...

At that time, the firemen’s duties were not quenching fires, but burning books. The main character, Guy Montag, met a “strange” girl whose name is Clarisse McClellan. Montag suspects whether the world is progressing on its correct way: Why the world seems lack of Integrity and enthusiasm? Later than, he finds that his wife, Mildred, took half bottle of sleeping pills to suicide because of her mental depression. The world becomes unfriendly to him, and he makes his final decision that escape then rebuild the world after one day he sees an old woman chose to save books rather than death. He knows a previous college English professor, Faber. After they develop a plot, Montag escapes the city successfully. The city is soon destroyed by a battle, and Montag plans to rebuild the civilization with the people he meets in the forest. Through the use of symbolism and characterization, Ray Bradbury develops the theme that the society is in danger since high technologies are gradually affecting people’s life, but knowledge and civilization may never be replaced, and people should show reverence then inherit culture in his novel Fahrenheit 451.
Ray Bradbury use characterization in his novel Fahrenheit 451 to express the theme that most people in that era are negatively affected by high technologies; however, there are still some people with visions contributing effort to save human’s thinking and civilization. Mildred Montag is a typical character that swamps in society’s darkness and does not have any personal thinking. The only thing that interest her is the huge television screen at home. While her husband tried to transmit some literature ideas, she “invites her friends over to watch the televisor, a combination virtual-reality room and television, reminiscent of the nursery in 'The Veld'" (Reid 55) instead. After Mildred knows that Montag makes his final decision that save the civilization, the coward woman chooses to escape: “Mildred came down the steps, running, one suitcase held with a dreamlike clenching rigidity in her fast, as a beetle-taxi hissed to the curb” (Bradbury 108). Mildred becomes an epitome of that society according to her actions.
However, there is still a little group of people persists that book and culture are bases of civilization. As a fireman who has been poisoned by the society’s trends, Guy Montag still realize that the world shouldn’t progress through the current way that people are apathy and regardless about culture, as Reid said in her book Ray Bradbury: A Critical Companion: “What he thinks about his marriage and wife Mildred, his sense that they have both lost something, his fear of the Mechanical Hound, his attraction to Clarisse, as well as his childhood memories and perceptions of the men he works with all create a characterization with emotional depth" (Reid 57). Clarisse McClellan also conceived Montag’s human interest in such an apathy society: "You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you...

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