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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

By , clarkston, MI

Happiness is an important role in life. What would you do if everyone lived in fear and could not express their ideas? It would not be a good society. In the book Fahrenheit 451, the government has banned reading. It is against the law. Montag is a firefighter. The firefighters burn people’s houses who have books in them.

Throughout the book Montag thinks very deeply about the meaning of this and concludes that everyone should be able to read whatever they want. Montag speaks out and his house is burned down as well, he then murders his chief and has to run from the government officials. He comes across a group that believes in reading. In the book Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury proves that a controlled society denies an individual’s happiness through the use of foreshadows, allusions, and dialogue.


First, Bradbury uses the government to influence citizens by the use of allusions. On page 32, the book says “Established,1790, to burn English-influenced books in the colonies. First Fireman Benjamin Franklin.” (Bradbury 32). In fact Benjamin Franklin did start the first fire department in 1736. But these people are being brainwashed by the government. They don’t actually tell the people that firefighters used to put out fires instead of starting fires because people have books in their possession. This is a way to keep everyone in the present and future from knowing the truth. If the government is taking away certain entertainment like reading. The people won’t be influenced to rise up against the government. This way the people can’t express their emotions in certain ways and it blocks people from having pure happiness. Second, the book says, “The rain was thinning away and the girl was walking in the center of the sidewalk with her head up and a few drops falling on her face.” (19) Later on Mildred says, “The rain feels good. I love to walk in it” (19) The people have become so adept to their surroundings by the government. Instead of reading on a rainy day the government wants them to go play in the rain. The government influences people without them even knowing it.


Another example is, Bradbury uses Montag as an example of a counteraction against the government using foreshadows.  On page 8, the book says “He stood looking up at the ventilator grill in the hall and suddenly remembered that something lay hidden behind the grill, something that seemed to peer down at him now.” (8). This line is hinting the reader that something in that ventilator will come back later in the story and it does. Later in the book Bradbury reveals what is in it. There are books that Montag placed because he was curious and wanted to learn more. The thing about it is that, books are illegal. The government is controlling the citizens into doing what they want them to do. If Montag has pure happiness then he would be able to do whatever he would want to do without endangering anybody else of course. But reading is controlled by the government and Montag is not happy because he wants to learn about them. If Montag was truly happy he would not be hiding them from people. Also, the book says, “Darkness.He was not happy. He was not happy. He said the words to himself.”(9) This just shows he is realizing what the government is doing to him. It controls the people around him but he is becoming aware of it. This leads to future counteractions as well.


Lastly, active members of society uses the media to keep everyone in control through the use of dialogue. On page 143, Granger says “They didn’t show the man’s face in focus. Did you notice? Even your best friends couldn’t tell if it was you. They scrambled it just enough to let the imagination take over.” (143). In the book, Montag kills the firefighter chief Beatty and Montag flees from the crime scene. The police are after him and they send The Hound after him. The Hound is a machine that is said to have never failed. By using media the government has this police chase and it goes on for hours. But the people are getting tired and losing their hope of not finding Montag. The government decides to have The Hound kill an innocent man walking on the street. The man was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. People couldn’t even tell if it was actually Montag or not. This is just another way to keep people living in fear and not being happy. If the people knew the government could fail they would revolt against the government but they are too scared to do so.


In conclusion, when people live in fear no one has happiness. Without happiness the world is not a fun and exciting place to be in.Through the use of foreshadows, allusions, and dialogue, Ray Bradbury proves that a controlled society denies an individual’s happiness.
 






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