14 December 2018, 01:23 PMTerran
A paper I wrote about Fahrenheit 451
Would love some feedback!
A book of burning flames and a distaste for knowledge, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953 enlightens the readers on a world where firefighters create fires rather than extinguish them, and books are the target. Protagonist Guy Montag’s profession is being one of these said firefighters and goes from freely burning literature to having an awakening and appreciating the written art. Ray Bradbury was a visionary attempting to warn the future of what could be and prevent the generations to come going down this path
During the time in which this book was published (1953), the U.S. was undergoing the Red Scare, which was a widespread fear of communism. It was still early on in the cold war which caused this fear of communism. Fahrenheit 451 appears to be taken place within a pseudo communist society, with the government attempting to make the entirety of the population think as they do by burning all books and dumbing down the population.
Bradbury’s claim throughout the story is that books keep us human. This quote from Faber while he was talking with Montag perfectly captures it. "Remember, the firemen are rarely necessary. The public itself stopped reading of its own accord. You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but it's a small sideshow indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line. So few want to be rebels anymore.” (Bradbury, 87). The people of Fahrenheit 451 overtime just lost interest in literature. Books were not banned out of nowhere, they just became unwanted. When Montag recites the poem to Mildred's friends, Mrs Phelps. bursts into tears. This is for her natural fear of books not because the governments prohibition of them.
As this book is taking place in a pseudo communistic world, Bradbury’s audience was the American citizen paranoid about a communist revolution taking over The United States. Though this was not his only audience. The future generations were also his audience, people that were not even alive yet. Using stuff such as televisions and a disliking for books is common traits or at least stereotypes of a large population of present day youth. Fahrenheit 451 was a way of alerting the future of a path they could well possibly go down compacted into a marvelous book.
Ray shows pathos through the character clarisse. Clarisse is a young 16 year old girl who Ray grew quite fond of quite quickly. She opened Montag up to new ideas that as a fireman , did not care to think.“Suddenly it seemed a much younger voice voice was speaking for him. He opened his mouth and it was Clarisse McClellan saying, ‘Didn't firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get them going?’” (pg 34). This line shows that Clarisse had an impact on his thinking of the world. It is pathos as these new ideas are being learned through a relation with a character that can be connected with.
As the United States population at the time was terrified of being taken over by communism, Bradbury gave them a possible scenario the nation could be in under communist rule, while still entertaining. The society loves the communist party, or in Fahrenheit 451 they love, “the family,” which is like an interactable television show with these characters that are the family. The line on page 20“How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth wall-TV put in? It's only two thousands dollars.’ that's one third of my yearly pay.’ Its only two thousand dollars” (pg 20). This shows that Montag’s wife Mildred, is one of the many people who loves “the family” so much that she is willing to give up most of her husband’s income to enjoy them even more. Bradbury chose to make the figure the population loves television characters as many people enjoyed television so they could see this as a more realistic future, which in today's world, is starting to look less and less as a fantasy.
Throughout the story logos is used in changing Montag’s views on books. Montag was out with the fire squad on an average book burning mission. The woman resident of the home they were burning down lit the match and burned with it rather than living, which brings up the quote "You weren't there, you didn't see," he said. "There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing." This is logical reasoning that brings Montag’s view books to the other side of the pendulum.
Ethos was used to truly show the reader what type of society this was. After Montag turns Beatty into a smore he became a wanted fugitive. The chase to catch Montag was being televised and being watched all over. When Montag loses the chasers they need to end with them winning so they pretend someone else is Montag and capture him instead. This is Ethos, but the opposite. This action shows through unethical ways how the society in which the story takes place is. Does not care about serving justice as much as it cares about being right and entertaining. Similar to today's times on a less extreme level, everyone wants to see the big finale, not hear their show has been canceled.
Ray Bradbury composed an epic novel with much appeal and foresight. A story involving topics that were relevant back during its creation and still uphold in present day. Only Geniuses such as Bradbury could achieve an epic feat like this.
14 December 2018, 01:42 PMdandelion
This was deleted once, and usually reposting deleted material results in the poster being banned.
Anyone wanting to read and comment on this, do so at your own risk. Anyone wanting to steal it, well, here it is.
14 December 2018, 01:47 PMTerran
my bad. Ban me if you wish, I have dishonored the laws of the land..
14 December 2018, 04:32 PMdandelion
In your case, banning might do more harm than good. I have the feeling you have friends.