Dystopian Society In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

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Ray Bradbury introduces in his novel, Fahrenheit 451 (1953), a dystopian society manipulated by the government through the use of censored television and the outlaw of books. During the opening paragraph, Bradbury presents protagonist Guy Montag, a fireman whose job is to burn books, and the society he lives in; an indifferent population with a extreme dependence on technology. In Bradbury’s novel, the government has relied on their society’s ignorance to gain political control. Throughout the novel, Bradbury uses characters such as Mildred, Clarisse, and Captain Beatty to show the relationships Montag has, as well as, the types of people in the society he lives in. Through symbolism and imagery, the audience is able to see how utterly unhappy Clarisse, as well as Faber and Granger, represent the more thoughtful minority population. As perceived in the book, Clarisse is a young, free-spirited, curious individual who somewhat enlightens Montag. From their first encounter, Clarisse introduces Montag to different styles of thinking. Clarisse’s remarks such as “the leaves smell like cinnamon,” (Pg. 13), initially make Montag feel uneasy but then curious as to why she would know this. Montag mentions that she is one of first people trying to uncover more about him. Montag seems refreshed by Clarisse, which in turn make him question his relationship with Mildred. Their initial conversation is the focal point of the book, revealing to the audience that Montag is different and more capable of thinking. Additionally, Bradbury makes it seem like the other characters who don’t question society such as Mildred and Beatty, are threatened by Clarisse and her way of thinking. Mildred acknowledges Montag and Clarisse short friendship in a harsh way and is glad to mention to Montag that Clarisse has been killed at the end of the first chapter. Clarisse’s character is assumed to have been hit by a car and killed during the middle of the first section. Although her role in the novel is fairly short, her first few meetings with Montag make a huge impact on the story
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