The Destructive Nature of Censorship Exposed in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

The Destructive Nature of Censorship Exposed in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

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Censorship is the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are considered offensive. In Fahrenheit 451, everything has been censored in order to keep everyone happy. Conveying the impact of censorship on society is essential to the development of the story; especially in the way it is delivered. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury alludes to the impact of censorship by alluding to Millay, Little Black Sambo, and Lord Byron in the story.
The use of Edna St. Vincent Millay further explains censorship in this future society. "It's fine work. Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan" (Bradbury 8). Edna St. Vincent Millay is a perfect example of someone who's work was censored in this futuristic society. Millay controversially introduced topics such as female sexuality and feminism in A Few Figs From Thistles, published in 1920. Her open marriage with other lovers also proved scandalous, inspiring sonnets in Fatal Interview, published in 1931. There were minorities that did not agree with Millay and in order to keep the peace, like the lifelong work of many other authors expressing radical ideas, her work had to be censored and burned by the government.
Little Black Sambo is another great example of alluding to controversial topics. In Fahrenheit 451, Beatty talks about this story during his speech to Montag. "Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it" (Bradbury 59).Written by Helen Bannerman and published in 1899, Little Black Sambo was criticized for its controversy and racial slurs. This story is about a South Indian boy named Sambo who meets four hungry tigers and surrenders his new colorful clothes, shoes, and umbrella s...


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...hed philosophies. They just ignored it so the minorities would act the same way about their philosophies. But then people changed as technology changed. What Bradbury is saying through Fahrenheit 451 is that it is impossible to make everyone happy. By burning and censoring the minorities become happy but by continuing to publish the works the minorities are upset. What needs to happen is that it needs to be accepted that happiness 100% if the time is impossible. If one is never unhappy, how would one know what happiness is anyway?




Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray. New York: Del Rey, 1987. Print.
Simkin, John. Http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk. Spartacus Educational, Sept.
1997. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. .
Wikipedia.com. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. .


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