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Censorship in Fahrenheit 451

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Living in a world with censorship all around you is dreadful. Censorship is the suppression of ideas in a society. This is often if not all the time caused by the government. The government often does this to hide the truth from the public, so they can remain in power of the society. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, censorship and the suppression of ideas cause a lack of happiness in people, a loss in knowledge and creates a government controlled society. Primarily, censorship causes a lack of happiness in people. In the book Fahrenheit 451, people suppress sadness by taking pills.

At the beginning of the novel, Mildred takes too many pills and almost dies, when operators come to flush her blood they say “we get these cases nine or ten a night. Got so many starting a few years ago, we had these special machines built.” (Bradbury 15). This quote shows that if people were really happy in the society, they would not take pills to suppress sadness. Next, people feel empty which causes them to be unhappy. In the novel, when Montag realizes he would not cry if Mildred his wife died, he said “death, a silly empty man near a silly empty woman.” (Bradbury 44). Here, we see that the strongest love which is of a married couple is not there, they feel empty and this leads to them feeling sad. Furthermore, people don’t realize their actions cause sadness.

In the novel, when Faber asks Montag, why he was so concerned about books all of a sudden, Montag said, “I don’t know. We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Somethings missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was books I’d burned in ten or twelve years.” (Bradbury 82). This quote shows that by Montag burning books he became unhappy, however, he did not realize until they were gone. Thus, censorship not only causes unhappiness, but a loss of knowledge in people as well. Secondly, censorship and the suppression of ideas, create a loss in a society’s knowledge. In the novel, firemen burning books create a loss of knowledge. In the scene where Captain Beatty was explaining why books are bad, he said, “So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it.” (Bradbury 28). Here we see that people perceive books as evil and bad, so they burn all the knowledge which is hidden inside of it. Moreover, the fear of making mistakes creates a loss of knowledge. In the novel where Faber tries to make Montag understand it is ok to make mistakes, he said, “you’re afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be. Mistakes can be profited by…if no one will hit you…you will never learn.” (Bradbury 104). Here we see that people are scared to make mistakes, but if you never make mistakes you will never learn and if you don’t learn, you lose/miss-out on knowledge.

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Therefore, censorship not only causes a loss of knowledge, but creates a government controlled society. Lastly, censorship and the suppression of ideas, create a government controlled society. In Fahrenheit 451, the interference with privacy creates a society controlled by its government. In the scene where Mildred was getting her blood flushed, Montag said “It had an eye. The impersonal operator of the machine could, by wearing a special optical helmet, gaze into the soul of the person whom he was pumping out.” (Bradbury 15). This quote shows that the government can look into an individual’s personal information this displays no privacy and a totally controlled society. Moreover, interference with life creates a government controlled society. In the novel, where Montag on the train/bus said, “an hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film teacher.” (Bradbury 35). Here we can see that interference with the society’s schedule, ability to think and ask questions, ability to be creative and interference with education and life creates a controlled society.

Furthermore, interference with peoples’ rights creates a government controlled society. In the scene, where Beatty explains to Montag aspects about giving people choice, he said, “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none…peace Montag. (Bradbury 61). This quote shows interference with the right to be informed about things and interference with a person’s judgement and rights create a controlled society.

Thus, censorship creates a society controlled by the government. In conclusion, the lack of happiness, the loss of knowledge and a government controlled society are caused by censorship and the suppression of ideas. When people talk and have a social life where they feel safe, they will be happy. When people learn to preserve the truth and not be in fear to make mistakes, knowledge will be preserved. Lastly, when people have rights and are not controlled in every aspect of their lives, there will be happiness, knowledge and will create an uncontrolled society. Therefore, would you want to live in a world with censorship and the suppression of ideas?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Has Censorship Affected the Society in Fahrenheit 451?

The society in Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian society in which books are banned and the firemen are responsible for burning any that are found. The censoring of books and other media has had a profound effect on the people in this society, leading to a lack of knowledge, curiosity and creativity. People have become complacent, content to spend their time in front of the television, and uninterested in challenging the status quo. The government has also become more oppressive, using censorship as a tool of control to keep the people from learning about their history and questioning their government. The lack of literature has also caused a decline in language, as people are no longer exposed to the complexities of words and sentences. The result is a population that is largely uneducated and without initiative.

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Censorship in Fahrenheit 451. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-effects-of-censorship-on-a-society/
“Censorship in Fahrenheit 451.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-effects-of-censorship-on-a-society/
Censorship in Fahrenheit 451. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-effects-of-censorship-on-a-society/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2023].
Censorship in Fahrenheit 451 [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2023 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/fahrenheit-451-the-effects-of-censorship-on-a-society/
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