Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


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Shortage of Books
     ”I’ve always said poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings, poetry and sickness; all that mush!” exclaimed Mrs. Bowles to Montag in Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451 (103). Mrs. Bowles thinks written words can make an individual really gloomy and disconsolate. Because the goal of this society is to always be satisfied, and to stay satisfied people watch TV, made up stories, which never makes them think or wonder, that is why Mrs. Bowles is convinced that poems are nasty. How does banning of books affect a whole community? Does the human civilization really differ without them? According to Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury assembles a civilization that is affected in three ways from having a lack of books: more brutality is among people, preternatural relationships cultivate, and intelligent capabilities decrease.
     First, cognitive ability degenerated because of the banning of books. Visiting Faber, he said to Montag “That was the year I came to class at the start of the new semester and found only one student to sign up for Drama from Aeschylus to O’Neill” (91). Faber told Montag a memory of how books were like a beautiful statue of ice, melting in the sun. He later realized that books had no meaning to people because people stopped thinking. If the lack of books has caused people to stop thinking, then people act on impulse, rather than taking the time to consider the effect of what they are doing. Therefore, the decrease of knowledge obviously caused ignorance which in turn leads to the unawareness of ones self being taken advantage of or enslaved. In greater meaning if an individual deprives a society of individual rights or slowly outlaws educational sources (such as books in this case) and do not let people make their own choices for themselves, then they begin to lose interest in things they enjoy and "fall into the crowd" becoming (though unaware) toys of the leaders of that society, who lead that crowd of people like a flock of lambs, and thus controlling everyone.
     In addition to unawareness, abnormal relationships develop in the society because without books one couple may struggle in communication. After Beatty’s visit Mildred concluded Montag’s question “My ‘family’ is people. They tell me things: I laugh, they laugh! And the colors!”(75). Mildred feels her family is just people as if she thought people were just objects roaming around the earth.

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As time progressed through out their society, couples were sleeping in two different beds, refuse to listen to each other, and forget the most important romantic or exciting events that have an affect on their lives. ”Caesarians or not, children are ruinous; you’re out of your mind,” said Mrs. Phelps to Mrs. Bowles (98). Parents did not pay attention to their children nor did they want a child. This shows that poor relationships grew and increased in society because of more ignorance and less advantage to make something work or someone be really satisfied with what a great they did or brought to the world.
     The last example of how a civilization will be affected without books is that people become more violent. “A few bombs and the ‘families’ in the walls of all the houses, like harlequin rats, will shut up!” Faber announced to Montag (91). Faber was explaining a brutal plan about the issue of his society. Clearly, people are not happy and everyone is searching for happiness in the wrong places. People would rather take the easy way out of things than work for something. They think that makes them happy, but it is a pseudo-happiness. In reality, it is industriousness that yields true happiness. Lack of education and lack of a belief system also yield this unhappiness. Individuals see these circumstances in their own society and people see them in the book's society, both with the same outcome: increased violence and depression. Youth search for enjoyment and pleasure has escaladed to a point where only violence brings the euphoria that driving fast once did. This does not only happen with the youth either. The adults are in the same boat and when the parents are without education, industriousness, and a belief system, they are ill-equipped to help youth with the same. Therefore, with each succeeding generation, things get worse, and violence is the result.
     Despite the rough relationships, the suffering of people, and the lack of knowledge, Fahrenheit 451 demonstrated the struggle between man and book. Relationships such as Montag’s and Mildred’s were ruined because either of them showed emotion or thought for one another. With the cause of poor relationships people began to have no knowledge at all of what they are saying or what they are thinking. Violence became the most important issue of this society because the only way for an individual to be joyful was to hurt another. If the banning of the books have not gone through the government, then a society of which was once created would have never been destroyed. “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way” quote by Juan Ramon Jimenez.


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