Government Control

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, is a dystopic novel that focuses around control and power, especially from the government. The citizens of the society in the novel are ignorant and the government ensures this characteristic in all people. The government intends to equalize all people by enforcing a strict education and by limiting external sources. All students in schools are not allowed to ask questions, they are simply provided with the facts and notes. English, literary, and history courses are minimized or exterminated, only to be replaced by sports or technology classes. Firefighters burn books and the houses in which they are hidden. If the prosecutor refuses to leave their house, they are simply burned within the kerosene provoked fire. This action is socially accepted because rule breaking is unspoken of in the society. Citizens are not provided with activities or education that requires much thought. They watch tv or play sports. Philosophers and scientists are virtually nonexistent. The main character is a firefighter whose name is Guy Montag. His ignorance is exhibited when an innocent girl named Clarisse asked him, “‘Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?'” He said, “‘No. Houses have always been fireproof, take my word for it.'” (8). The detrimental effects of burning books is proven here. Individual’s knowledge is burned along with them. In Fahrenheit 451, the government tries to equalize all people and take control of their conscience. Clarisse is the symbol of hope in the novel as she is the character who is curious enough to ask questions. Unfortunately, she dies shortly into the story. She maintains her status though, because her influences have worn off on Montag. She opened his eyes to the world, and the unknown past. Now, it is up to Montag to discover the truths, and to ask the unnecessary and looked-over questions.

Meghan T

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~ by meghan66 on June 7, 2010.

One Response to “Government Control”

  1. What you are saying here reminds me of this week’s film, The Island, when the creator comments on the defect in the product of Echo 6’s generation: human curiousity.

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