Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury. The author proves it is a dystopian novel by using dystopian controls such as bureaucratic control, technological control, and philosophical/religious control. Bureaucratic Control talks about how the society is being controlled by its government. Technological Control talks about how the society is influenced by technology. Philosophical/Religious Control is the last dystopian control used in this novel; it is used by the governments influence on the beliefs of its society.
This novel has bureaucratic control because the society in Fahrenheit 451 is built by a government who believes books are bad and should be burned. “It’s fine work. Monday burn Millay. Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner. Burn em’ to ashes then burn the ashes. That’s out official slogan.” (Bradbury 5). The firemen in the novel have lots of power and believe they are more superior “I am full of bits and pieces,” said Beatty. “Most fire captains have to be. Sometimes I surprise myself. Watch it, stone man!” (Bradbury 40). In Fahrenheit 451 the government bombed its own people so that they could maintain bureaucratic control. “Where the explosion rid itself of them in its own unreasonable way.” (160).
The novel shows technological control due to the governments creation of a mechanical hound used to track down and kill anyone who’s done something the government believes is un-honorable. “-nose so sensitive the mechanical hound can remember and identify ten thousand odor indexes on then thousand men without resting!” The firemen use this hound, but the beast doesn’t like anyone and growls while trying to bite them. In the novel Faber creates an earpiece that lets him communicate with Montag without leaving the house. “Montag placed the green bullet in his ear. The old man inserted a similar object in his own ear and moved his lips.” (90).
Fahrenheit 451 shows Philosophical/Religious Control because in the novel Faber suggests that even if you’re not religious you should always have a bible so that you know what life used to be like. “I care so much I’m sick” (88). In the novel the government has brain washed its society to believe that books are bad and should be burned. Montag also believes in stopping the firemen so that the society can go back to the way it was and is willing to do anything. “who can stop me? Im a fireman, I can burn you!… the book … Faber sank into the chair.” (84)
In conclusion Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel showing 3 types of controls, bureaucratic control, technological control, and philosophical/religious control. The government, mechanical hound, and the bible are all examples of the 3 types of controls this novel shows. Ray Bradbury loved books and believed that society would end up like the one in Fahrenheit 451.
- “Dystopias: Definitions and Characteristics” ReadWriteThink 2006. http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson926/DefintionCharacteristcs.pdf Accessed: 2019-11-26 [Online]
- Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451 Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, June 2013 https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html Accessed: 2019-11-27 [Online]