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The Cold War and Ray Bardbury's Fahrenheit 451 - Essay Example

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A Review of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Author’s Name Date The book Fahrenheit 451 is regarded as one of Ray Bradbury’s masterpieces1. The dystopian novel is set in a large futuristic American city that has suffered heavily from dictatorship and suppression of the mind through censorship…
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The Cold War and Ray Bardburys Fahrenheit 451
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The Cold War and Ray Bardbury's Fahrenheit 451

Download file to see previous pages... The story is narrated by a third party with access to Montag’s thoughts and feelings; through this, the reader can easily relate to Montag’s transformation and the sentiments that drive his character. Montag has become a staunch book burner but this is not his own conviction and within no time, he must rediscover himself. The book explores the central theme of censorship and its impact on the individual as well as the community as a whole. The Cold War was an era of great tension and suspicion between democracy and communism. There were deep-rooted ideological, economic and political differences between the United States and its allies on one hand and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. This was the time immediately before the start of the Second World War. In the novel, books have been banned in society and those that are found are burned along with the homes in which they are found. It is worth noting that the destruction of books began as self-censorship. Beatty explains to Montag how people lost a desire in books and instead opted for instant gratification in the form of television and fast cars. By illustrating censorship as a phenomenon that emerges from culture itself, the author expresses a concern that the evolution of the media is as good as a totalitarian regime in the suppression of free speech. Bradbury Ray. “Fahrenheit 451.” (New York, NY: Random House Print. 1996.) As highlighted in the book, the degree of mimetic dependence on historical experience creates a picture of the American context in the years following the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the cold war. It represents the widespread influence of the Soviet communism in eastern countries in Europe and the overreaction of America to it. This can be summed up as the fear of communism in American circles and the subsequent atmosphere of deeply rooted suspicion and political persecution in the form of witch hunt. The period represented in Fahrenheit 451illustrates the overarching response to this pervasive paranoia in American society. This prompts the need to apply censorship in a bid to foster n all-pervasive environment of conformism and apathy.2 Given the suppression of individual thought, Fahrenheit 451 addresses the conflict between individuality and conformity. The characters’ lives revolve around pleasure-seeking and distraction. This culture does not seem to accommodate a broad range of self-expression. In fact, hedonism is the norm, coupled with mindless entertainment. When people try to question this kind of life, they are considered as threats to society. Clarisse, the young seventeen-year old girl and Montag’s friend, symbolizes expression of free thought and individuality. Once when going home from the fire station, Montag meets Clarisse who questions the nature and motivation of his job. At one point she asks him, “Have you ever read the books you burn?”1 Her questions and opinions on life are disturbing and confusing to Montag. According to him, reading books is against the law. Bradbury Ray. “Fahrenheit 451.” (New York, NY: Random House Print. 1996.) 2 Tindal George B. and David Shi. “American.” W.W. Norton and Company, New York and London: 1997. This implies that Montage is doing this because the law demands so; Montag has to conform to this order, his own feelings and convictions ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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