Not So Pleasantville Essay

Submitted By MacKenzie_Ann_E
Words: 692
Pages: 3

MacKenzie Eakle
Dr. Brown
Honors 9th Literature
September 25, 2014

Not So ”Pleasant”ville

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” Ray Bradbury’s quote says and can mean numerous things. It really all depends on who the reader is. I don’t even know what it means, however, I have an idea. It is believed that books are harmless; this is not always the case. Reading a book is the same as taking your passport, buying a plane ticket, and jetting off to a foreign place somewhere else in the world. Books transport minds to a different world and show them different things. In Bradbury’s novel “Fahrenheit 451” and the film Pleasantville, directed by Gary Ross, the same beliefs are shared; the key role they play in “society”.

The firemen in both works do not do their job. Even though this is for different reasons, the idea behind it is the same. In “Fahrenheit 451” the fireman start fires instead of putting them out and they burn books, houses, and sometimes people. They do this because books are contraband because of the government wanting control. In the film, fires just simply do not happen. They do not happen because it is supposed to be “perfect” all the time and the only thing that would even come close to an emergency concerning the fire department would be a cat stuck in a tree. In order for everything to remain perfect the government controls what does and does not happen.

Books are burned in both works. In Pleasantville, after things start to change and start to go against traditional values, the irrational thought is that books are the reason for this. In response to this fear an uprising occurs, resulting in a mass burning of books. Everybody who actually believed the books were the reason that things were changing for the better when the people think it’s for the worse, burns them in the middle of the town. Some people fought back while others just watched and participated. In the novel books are burned because the government wants control over its people and this is one way to do it. Books were believed to be something dangerous to society so the government made the choice to contraband the; this is why they are burned. Again even though these are both different reasons, the ideas behind them are the same.

The two main characters in both the novel and the film are very similar. In the film the main character “Bud” is an outsider turned rebel exactly like Guy Montag in the novel. Montag was a fire fighter