29 April 2014 Insert Title
Utopias are an ideal of what society should be like in order to be a “perfect” society. Many countries try different governments, laws, and restrictions to shape their society into a better and more perfect society, but unfortunately these ideas do not always have a positive result and end up making their society worse. For this reason many authors turn these better societies into literature to show society what these changes are in reality doing to society. Ray Bradbury does this in of his books. He creates a society that is supposed to be what the United States will like in the future. In his society, Guy Montag (the main character), with his wife Mildred live happily conformed in their home surrounded by television screens. Montag is a fireman whose duty is to burn books because these books are prohibited and if necessary, he may burn the book owners as well. Montag’s world soon changes when he meets a girl named Clarisse whose ideas of a society are way different from everyone else’s in his society and these ideas lead him to wondering why the world is happy and conformed without knowledge or socialization with other people. In this way in the book Fahrenheit 451: through book burning by firemen, a society influenced by technology, and education being last priority; Ray Bradbury criticizes censorship, technology, and education in the United States during the Cold War in the 1950’s.
Censorship has been used for many years by governments to keep peace. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury shows censorship through book burning. To keep people happier as Captain Beatty explains to Montag, “You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, what do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right?” Bradbury uses this to criticize what is happening in the United States and in Russia at that time. According the article Ray Bradbury and the Assault on Free Thought, “Writing less than a decade later, in the shadow of McCarthy and Stalin, Bradbury feared the suppression of independent thought in whatever form it might take” (Patai, 43). Which is why in the book, he shows what society will be like if society allows politicians such as Joseph McCarthy decide what books should be allowed in libraries and what books shouldn’t. Since in this time McCarthy began accusing politicians, writers, and families of being communist for “protection” he began censoring books that were believed to be communist to avoid people from getting ideas and to keep them from being appealed to the idea of communism. Bradbury is able to show what society would be like if people allow their freedom of speech to be taken away by showing the ignorance and unhappiness they will obtain through relying in other things that will entertain them such as technology,
In the book, the characters in the society live in a world influenced by televisions and technology. The main character Montag himself, along with his wife, own three parlor walls which are basically wall sized television screens that surround them allowing them to be more entertained. In Montag’s world, there is no such thing as socializing or getting to know people. Since everyone is so influenced by technology, their way to socialize is by talking to the screens on the televisions. Also to keep people happy, what is shown on television is controlled and the television is also used as a way of propaganda. Not only that, but each city has a hound that keeps control of society by notifying the firemen of anyone who owns books so that the firemen find them and burn them. In this way, Bradbury demonstrates what society will be like if it is dependent so much on technology. Since in the 1950’s more and more people began owning televisions and they were becoming more dependent on them rather than reading books. It was much easier for people to…