Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Communism in the McCarthy Era

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In Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist Guy Montag, an ordinary fireman trained to burn books containing offensive matter in order to develop a community of similar values and covert extremists, comes to the realization that the world he prospers in is unjust and ill-mannered due to the present censorship. Similar motifs can be found within the 1950’s McCarthy Era. McCarthyism was the practice of subjecting Americans to severe allegations and crude investigations in order to determine whether or not a citizen was a member of the American Communist Party or a Communist sympathizer. If found to be under suspicion, as many government personnel were, harsh questioning sessions in front of powerful panels were …show more content…
Around the time of 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy was at the front of anti-communism acts, of which went to the extent of his personal beliefs heavily influenced his decision to enact certain regulations. The period was named after the senator due to his publishing of 205 State Department laborers to which were apart of the communist party. Following the reveal by McCarthy were several questioning sessions in front of powerful panels and extreme court hearings usually resulting in overturned rulings with no appeal. Communism, in all cases, has similar socialistic values; however the McCarthyism Era was of vital importance to the nation’s history and hence had a significant effect on the social criteria, to which literature, such as Fahrenheit 451, falls under. In relation to the novel, aspects of communism represent important characteristics, developing a direct correlation of the two subjects, hence developing the ideals of the protagonist.
Guy Montag, one of the many “firemen” that is hired to ignite fires filled with illegal books, realizes that destroying works of art, and sometimes people in the process, is not the way he wants to live, a discrete motif of Communism in which censorship is most prevalent. The four major ideals of Communism, for future reference are as follows: collective ownership of production, centralized government,…

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