e a world where books were banned and all words were censored. Freedom of speech has always been considered to be the most fundamental of the human rights. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury emphasizes the importance of freedom of speech by giving readers a glimpse of how the world would be if written works were prohibited. The novel is considered to be a classic because it can usually be linked to society. The novel’s relevance is connected to its themes and its overall message. The themes of loneliness, alienation, conformity, and paranoia play a crucial role in the novel by showing how censorship can transform society negatively.
Loneliness and alienation are recurring themes in this novel. Clarisse McClellan, a pivotal character in the novel, was alienated from her classmates by being forced to visit a psychiatrist regularly (Bradbury 22-23). She also feels different from the other students because she does not condone their violent actions and lack of thought (Bradbury 29-30). Clarisse influenced Montag and stimulated his resentment of how things were. Novels for Students, Vol. 1 further explains Montag’s relationship with alienation and society. “Montag’s alienation from a society that has embraced mass culture and thoroughly discouraged individual thinking intensifies. In scene after scene, Montag becomes emotionally alienated from his work, his wife, and the people he works with. As this alienation increases, he reaches out to books and to the people who value them… He has escaped the alienation of the mechanical society he left behind… The suggestion Bradbury makes is that by staying connected to books, which are a reflection of other people’s thinking, we stay connected as human beings one to the other. Books,...
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...ght be the target of the well-read man?” (Bradbury 58). Beatty reasoned that only violence and unhappiness would result from permitting books to be read. Characters, such as Mildred Montag, Mrs. Clara Phelps, and Mrs. Bowles, agreed with Beatty’s beliefs and had similar senses of paranoia.
Throughout the novel, various themes were undoubtedly present. These themes sculpted Ray Bradbury’s novel into a highly regarded piece of literature. The novel’s relation to the events of the author’s time gave it relevance and a deeper meaning. It voiced Bradbury’s opinion on the suppression of human rights, specifically the freedom of speech. Novels, such as Bradbury’s, stimulated events in history by appealing to the public. Fahrenheit 451 is an outcry of the disastrous effects of censorship that results from loneliness, alienation, conformity, and paranoia.
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