Negative Effects Of Fahrenheit 451

1846 Words 8 Pages
Standing amidst fire, a man made completely out of book pages hides his face as the flames which surround him began to disintegrate his body. Such is the image depicted on the original 1953 cover of Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451. From a literal standpoint the image shows the burning of books, a common practice in the novel, where “firemen” are charged with the destruction of all novels, which have been deemed dangerous to society. Symbolically, the image represents the destruction of mankind, brought about by the harmful effects of the banning and censoring of novels. What exactly is it about a single novel that causes such panic? In reality, there are several reasons, each presented as being for the safety and wellbeing of the everyday …show more content…
Afterall, is it not the role of teachers, parents, and administrators alike, to monitor students in order to ensure their safety and well-being? While this certainly holds true, one must also consider that perhaps the constant babying and protection of students holds them back in the long run. When high school students were interviewed on their opinion of censorship, their responses showed maturity and wisdom and insight. Many stated that they felt it was essential to learn about such topics, as if they didn’t, they ran the risk of being uninformed and ignorant citizens of society, a far greater issue in the long run (Brezicki). Just as these students said, it’s dangerous to shelter someone from the real world for too long. At some point, we must let the students in our schools learn about the complex, confusing mess that is life. Will it be difficult? Yes. Will it be uncomfortable at times? Definitely. But here’s the thing: that discomfort that will be felt is the signifier of real learning. As one high school teacher puts it, it’s a fact that “real teaching is about growth, and that real growth (especially in a classroom) can be uncomfortable” (Brezicki). In that sense, preventing students from accessing novels purely due to their perceived maturity issues is irresponsible and in fact counterproductive, as it prevents said …show more content…
This danger stems from the issue of considering who is being restricted from accessing the novel in question. Journalist Sarah Yung expresses her reservations about censorship, arguing that strangers should not be able to determine what is too mature for one specific individual, and that one group should not be able to impose its own beliefs onto others (Yung). Her frustration is understandable. In humans, and especially amongst teenagers, there’s a wide variety of maturity, experience, and ability to handle difficult topics. Students - educated or ignorant, exposed or sheltered, mature or childish - are all unique. What may be considered shocking to one student, may be the wise insight that another was looking for in their lives. Humans are inherently unique, and it’s far too risky to pass such a widespread decision, especially without any active contribution from those who will be affected. Instead of preventing all students from accessing a certain novel by calling for its removal, it would be wise for parents to simply restrict their own child’s access. Afterall, in an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, it is written that “parents-and only parents-have the right and responsibility to restrict the access of their children-and only their children-to library resources” (About). If a parent is truly concerned about

Related Documents