Ray Bradbury felt as though our society veered towards destruction. During the time period that he wrote Fahrenheit 451, the Holocaust and Communism spread throughout the globe. The spread of this gruesome genocide and feared system caused America to become a nation of little privacy and a plethora of accusations. McCarthy, the “senator form Wisconsin” (Vol) ability to ruin American lives was made possible by “the country’s general mood of insecurity and political paranoia following the triumphant conclusion of World War II” (Vol). Communist dominance in Eastern Europe and China caused “rumors” of “communist spies active in Canada” (Over) which led to “a frenzy to eliminate any ideas suspected of socialist or communist leanings, and as a result some ninety mostly harmless or even useful organizations were listed by the U.S. attorney general as wellsprings of communist doctrine” (Over). Along with this frenzy and list came “McCarthy’s infamous Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, aided by the FBI” which “held hearings to investigate persons with alleged ties to the Communist Party” (Vol). Sadly, “once an individual was brought up before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations…it was virtually impossible for them to defend themselves, and thousands of people—notably show business figures, writers, artists, and academics—either lost their jobs as a result, or were placed on blacklists that guaranteed they would no longer be able to find employment” (Vol). This investigation ruined innocent lives as it deprived many others of a free life. Along with the invasion of privacy, rights were violated:
The U.S. government responded to its fear of growing communist...
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“Overview: Fahrenheit 451: the Temperature at which Books Burn.” Literature and Its times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influenced Them. Joyce Moss and George Wilson. Vol. 5: Civil Rights Movements to Future Times (1960-2000). Detroit: Gale, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.
Reid, Robin Anne. "5." Ray Bradbury: a Critical Companion. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000. 53-62. Print.
Sisario, Peter “A study of the Allusions in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.” English Journal 59.2 (Feb. 1970): 201-205. Rpt. In Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Deborah A. Stanley. Vol. 98. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. Literature Resource Center. Web. 31 Jan. 2011.
Sterling, Bruce. “Major Science Fiction Themes: Utopias and Dystopias.” Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 26 Jan. 2011.
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