How to Corrupt a Utopia

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It is a common theme in literature that knowledge gives rise to power, and this is no different in Fahrenheit 451, however this book also shows that knowledge stimulates individuality and power can take that essential knowledge away. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, shows a dysfunctional society which relies heavily on technology and majority rule to annihilate all individuality. What is one item that can destroy a Utopia like this fictional one? The answer is books. Which is why in Bradbury's futuristic society that is the very thing that is banned and burned.
Fahrenheit 451 is about the transformation of a man, Guy Montag, who goes from being a futuristic firefighter (a person who starts fires instead of puts them out) to a curious individual prosecuted by his fellow companions for his craving of knowledge. The book commences with him burning a house full of books with a hose full of Kerosene without him questioning his job what-so-ever. In fact he even had a "fiery smile gripped by his face muscles" the entire time he watched the books burning into nothing. (4) This smile the book described as permanent as he always held that smile even in "the dark", not thinking of what he was doing for the past, present, or future, but rather just doing his job like all his other comrades. The entire time he was burning books Montag never stopped to think about why the government wanted him to do this but just did it unquestioningly and willingly until one day he met Clarisse McClellan, and the reader learned just how unhappy Montag was. The reader right away sees the contrast between the two characters; Clarisse is random, carefree, and full of life and questions, where Guy is very routine and skeptical. While Clarisse dies later in the no...

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...up-to-date information. Technology became so prevalent that it extinguished the desire and need to read and instead told everyone exactly what the government thought they should know and because the people became so accustomed to getting their information through these devices books became useless.
Through doing just as Montag, Clarisse, and Granger did, that is never stopping a quest for knowledge no matter how much someone or something tries to put an end to it, history will never repeat itself and people will always learn from mistakes of others, not allowing the world to become chaos as in Fahrenheit 451. As Bradbury depicts, through books anyone can destroy a Utopia.

Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. A Del Rey. Ballantine Publishing Group. 1950. Print.
Webley, Kayla. "Brief History: Burning Books." Time Magazine. 20 September. 2010. 1-2. Print.

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