Fahrenheit 451: The Condition By Our Own Censorship

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In a society of book burners it is hard to not be ignorant and censored. These people are being censored by not the government or television but themselves. This article will cover the issues and themes of the book and the people.

Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451 surounds a society where books are not valued and technology is valued more than people. Our protagonist Guy Montag is conflicted on whether he’s doing the right thing. The theme being covered in this article is the theme that we are confined by our own censorship. Everyone censors themselves in some way, shape, or form. Montag’s estranged wife Mildred is an example of self-censorship. Mildred after 10 years of only using technology has caused her to become cold toward Montag. She is a prime example because she spends her hours watching TV clowns and talking to her “Family” that she barely has time to think.

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Another example is when Montag tries to ask about his intriguing friend Clarisse she shrugs it off trying to listen to her shells. Clarisse is 17-year-old girl who after talking to for a while has sparked Montag’s curiosity and turned off Montag’s own censoring.

Another point of self-censorship is within Captain Beatty’s speech, “…White people do not like Uncle Tom’s Cabin burn it, Colored people do not like Little Black Sam Burn it…” this is basically saying these people if they like something they read they burn it which means they censor other people who have not read it from those books. As mentioned earlier everyone censors themselves in some way shape or form, for instance Montag he was unknowingly censoring himself. Pretending to be happy, going about his daily dues until Clarisse pops into his life to switch everything up. This unusual girl made Montag think and realize that he is unhappy about his life, his job, and his decisions.

Another theme that is being covered and is strongly conveyed in the story is that we rely too much on technology and it can get out of hand if we let it. This society is very robotic to say the least, everything is ran on technology. One example of this is their “police dog” or “the hound” an eight-legged mechanical dog that polices a community. It was just for hunting someone down but it has been tinkered with so much it is now made to hunt and kill whosever DNA is filed into. It uses a need filled with morphine that shoots out of its nose to kill its criminal or “prey”. Another example in the novel is when in the chase after Montag has burnt his ex-Captain Beatty. After he throws the hound off his trail and meets 3 old men they show him that the “chase” is still going on, but not after him someone who was just on file and who’s DNA is conveniently needed at that moment. They rely so much on technology for entertainment they need an innocent man to die.

As the hound pounced on the man they noticed that the man's face was blurred just enough so that even your best friend wouldn’t know if that was him. The people in this society watch TV so much and rely on technology so much for entertainment they have “the family”, the 4 walls where the wall is replaced with a gigantic TV that they can’t even hold a conversation or talk to their family at that. For instance, in the novel the girls come over to watch the white clown on the 3 walls. After Montag pulled the plug on the wall and said he wanted to only talk the 4 “anxious women” looked back and forth at the “mud colored walls”. Another point that is trying to be made is that the people of this community focus more their technology then their own family members. In this world they have babies to populate the world and that’s it not because they genuinely want any. They could care less when they returned, how they returned, or if they returned at all, they care more about the big screen walls and shells in their ear; these women barely care about their husband in the war.

Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 the themes that we are confined by our own self-censorship and that we rely too much on technology that it can get out of control if we let it. This is shown by Montag’s estranged wife being censored to think books are bad and to only think about technology. Montag himself is another reason of one of these claims, he censored himself unknowingly by saying he’s happy and not thinking about things critically. This society that is ran by the morphine shooting “hound” no longer values books as knowledge but things with lies and nonsensical meaning. This robotic-like society either censors themselves or each other by burning books and watching TV hours on end.


In conclusion, these themes are strongly conveyed in the novel. This book burning society is being censored by themselves the government and maybe others as shown through Montag, his estranged wife Mildred, her girlfriends and just the community in general. Clarisse helped spark the curiosity back into Montag making him question his decisions. These themes help understand the whole novel better as a whole, how and why they do things. To be concluded these themes are what is strongly conveyed in the novel.

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Fahrenheit 451: The Condition By Our Own Censorship. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-condition-by-our-own-censorship/
“Fahrenheit 451: The Condition By Our Own Censorship.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-condition-by-our-own-censorship/
Fahrenheit 451: The Condition By Our Own Censorship. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-condition-by-our-own-censorship/> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Fahrenheit 451: The Condition By Our Own Censorship [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-condition-by-our-own-censorship/

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