The Theme Of Censorship In Fahrenheit 451

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Laurie Halse Anderson once said, “Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.” This is true, for in a society where people fear the unfamiliar, censorship becomes King and society is launched into a state of ignorance. In Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury, a society is created in which books are burned to shield the public from conflicting theory and thought. Though it seems nearly impossible that a world like that could be anything like the current, Bradbury was able to speak to ideas of censorship that are relevant to our current society, sixty-three years after Bradbury’s book was published. Through the use of literary elements and techniques, what Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 says is that censorship greatly …show more content…
In the novel, Faber mentions that one of the reasons why people aren’t really happy in the dystopian society is because they lack “‘.. the right to carry out actions based on what we learn…’” (81). This major plot point shows that the censorship of books and the right to read them has made people unhappy. They feel empty, like “...something’s missing” (78), and they live surface level lives because of it. People are unhappy when they don’t have a full understanding of things. Montag is a perfect example of this. Montag feels like something is missing, he even says,“‘We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing’” (78). Bradbury uses the characterization of Montag to show how people aren’t happy when they don’t understand everything. Montag wasn’t truly happy until he started realizing what was missing from his life. Because of the censorship of books, Montag didn’t understand why he was so confused. Books seemed inscrutable to him, and this launched him into an intense frustration. Montag’s lack of experience with books, due them being censored, made it very difficult for him to understand literature. Bradbury uses this example of Montag knowing that something is missing in order to show the direct correlation between happiness and censorship. This connection between the important ideas is shown once more in Mildred, Montag’s wife. Mildred, who is one of the millions who have been blocked from books, is very unhappy, and it can’t be a coincidence. She believes she’s happy with her low-quality media, but she really isn’t. Millie loves her TV, so much that she says, “‘That’s my family’” (46) of the TV, thinking that the characters on the TV are her actual family. With access to only low-quality information, she thinks she’s happy but that is

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