Due to the censorship of information in his society, Montag feels as if his life is missing a crucial element to his happiness. To elaborate, the society limited the knowledge that citizens have access to by having firemen burn books. Montag, the protagonist, has become disillusioned with the constraints exerted upon him; the Old Woman and Clarisse’s words and actions pushed Montag to see the thinly veiled oppression surrounding him, and the sudden realization sent him spiraling. In the midst of his breakdown, Montag sought out Faber’s help, telling him “We have everything we need to be happy but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing... The only thing I positively know was gone are the books I burned in ten or twelve years” (Bradbury 78). Montag explicitly states that he believes knowledge is what he needs to be happy. While he used to contribute to censorship, several factors (Mildred’s suicide attempt, the...
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... by the juxtaposition. The censorship of books combined with the general public view of those who did read pushed Beatty to the cliff and then shoved him off it for good measure.
A lack of free thought (as well as the ability to) and oppressive censorship prevalent in Fahrenheit 451’s society prove how detrimental the two are to an individual’s happiness. Notably, censorship caused Montag to feel an extreme sense of discontentment with his life, to the point of a meltdown. Likewise, the youth’s (as described by Clarisse) inability to think freely results in them living hollow lives, in a constant state of anger. Similarly, censorship’s effect on the majority’s perspective on those who read placed Beatty in a constant loop of uncertainty. In essence, Bradbury emphasizes hazard of excessive censorship, and the necessity of free thought, in his novel, Fahrenheit 451.
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