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Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury Essay

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In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, irony is used to convey information and it contributes to the overall theme of the novel. Written during the era of McCarthyism, Fahrenheit 451 is about a society where books are illegal. This society believes that being intellectual is bad and that a lot of things that are easily accessible today should be censored. The overall message of the book is that censorship is not beneficial to society, and that it could cause great harm to one’s intelligence and social abilities. An analysis of irony in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury shows that this literary technique is effective in contributing to the overall theme of the novel because it gives more than one perspective on how censorship can negatively affect a society.
Bradbury uses irony at the beginning of Part 3, Burning Bright, to show that Beaty’s own advice is utilized against him to kill him with a flamethrower. This is effective because it shows that a character that was once a wholly compliant citizen had started to question why certain things, such as literature, were being kept from society.
“[Fire is] perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did... It’s a mystery... It’s real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences... clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical” (Bradbury 115).
At the beginning of Part 3, Burning Bright, Beaty is explaining to Montag why fire is the best way to cause destruction without making a mess. Unfortunately, Montag hates Beaty to the point of wanting to kill him, and with a sadistic twist, uses Beaty’s own wisdom to kill him with flames. This connects to the overall theme, because when too many things are censored and destroyed, then someone i...


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In conclusion, Bradbury uses irony throughout Fahrenheit 451 to convey more information on important themes in the novel. This is effective because it shows that a society will learn to practice what it preaches and accidentally hurt itself or others its citizens don’t have the freedom to explore their emotions and their capabilities. Also, it is possible that Bradbury used a line of dialogue by Clarisse to mock how McCarthy was causing people to live in fear of being arrested or accused of being a communist. Lastly, Bradbury uses Mildred as a character to have an example of the many deficiencies that could be caused by a controlling government with too many things that are censored. This shows that Bradbury knew how to use irony to make his ideas make more sense and to help emphasize the main themes of Fahrenheit 451.


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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


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