The Theme Of Censorship In William Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

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The 1950’s were a critical era in American history as an ever-growing communist threat struck fear into the hearts of many Americans following World War II. Not knowing who they could trust, many American’s were on a “witch hunt,” jailing those who expressed radical views that were “unpatriotic.” This movement became known as the “Red Scare” and led to the censorship of media outlets and other printed works such as novels and college textbooks. Even novels about censorship, such as Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, were subject to this and heavily criticized. Despite all this, the novel’s theme of censorship reflects that of the time period it was written in.
Inspired by the “Second Red Scare,” Bradbury has no issue with incorporating society in
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In the novel, the job of firemen is vastly different from how it is pictured today. Instead of putting out fires and saving the lives of citizens, firemen start fires within their homes, sometimes killing people in the process. Kerosene and a lighter are the tools of their trade, and their one objective is “to burn English-influenced books” (Bradbury). The firemen and their role in society are an excellent allusion within the novel as they can be compared to McCarthy and his supporters who were running rampant at the time of the novels release. Just as the firemen in the novel, McCarthy and his supporters were burning and destroying books they deemed “Un-American,” justifying their actions by claiming to be protecting their country. Novels and even educational textbooks that could be remotely connected to the Communist Party were collected and destroyed. Books they did not destroy became subject to censorship and severe …show more content…
That group being the firemen in the novel. Essentially an extension of the government, the firemen in the novel had the power to invade the homes of the citizens, destroying their possessions and sometimes killing people in the process. This reflects that of McCarthy and his efforts to end Communist influence within the U.S. Having already been in the Senate, McCarthy had the power to rally the people for his cause, and used that power to accuse others of being affiliated with the Communist Party. Despite having no factual evidence to support his claims, those whom were accused lost all credibility, causing many rising stars to lose potentially great careers. Since the trials for the accused were made public, many people were instilled with a sense of fear as they too might become faced with accusations. Similar to McCarthy, the government in Bradbury’s dystopia used its excessive power to restrict the rights of the citizens, essentially turning them into carbon copies of one another. Not only were their thoughts and actions being restricted due to extensive rules and censorship, such as the burning of books, the rights of the citizens were being denied as

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