What Is The Theme Of Happiness In Fahrenheit 451

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"We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's 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 page 82). This statement by Montag arises the recurring question in the novel, "Do books allow for happiness, or threaten it?" Ray Bradbury emphasizes multiple ideas like these that similarly resemble Ibsen's ideas on society. This causes the main character, Montag, to become an "enemy of the people" much like Dr. Stockmann in An Enemy of the People. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury criticizes society's slow regression of knowledge, he stresses it to the point where in the future we will be incapable of realizing the …show more content…
In this passage, Bradbury describes in detail the effect of television on the society, "he would see the cottages and homes with their dark windows...sudden gray phantoms seemed to manifest upon inner room walls...or there were whisperings and murmurs where a window in a tomb like building was still open” (Bradbury 6)[1]. Bradbury implies through this passage that technology has changed people. He mentions the loneliness that is felt by the society due to the engrossment with television several times in the story. He felt that this would lead to a lack of communication destroying family values as well as creating an emotionless society which becomes true. People removed themselves from reality so that they can focus on the trivial things in their life which is evidently television. Bradbury also criticizes the education students receive at school as well as the interactions between teachers and their students. In this passage, Clarise explains to Montag why she does not attend school anymore, "I'm anti-social, they say... But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?"(Bradbury 23). . Clarisse’s response to Montag’s question is entirely appropriate. She is not “anti-social”; she is, in fact, the rare social individual in this repressive society. She wants to socialize, to mix freely with other people and discuss important subjects. In the totalitarian society depicted in Fahrenheit 451, that is a threat to social stability. Free spirits and totalitarian systems do not mix well. Bradbury also uses this statement to criticize the way schools force students to sit quietly during the day. He feels that by making students act like this they are discouraging any new and inventive ideas from taking place which ultimately transforms these children into robots the way people behave in Fahrenheit

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