Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Communism in the McCarthy Era Essay

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Communism in the McCarthy Era Essay

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In Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist Guy Montag, an ordinary fireman trained to burn books containing offensive matter in order to develop a community of similar values and covert extremists, comes to the realization that the world he prospers in is unjust and ill-mannered due to the present censorship. Similar motifs can be found within the 1950’s McCarthy Era. McCarthyism was the practice of subjecting Americans to severe allegations and crude investigations in order to determine whether or not a citizen was a member of the American Communist Party or a Communist sympathizer. If found to be under suspicion, as many government personnel were, harsh questioning sessions in front of powerful panels were subdued; however, most trials were sanctioned unconstitutional with overturned verdicts. Characteristics in the novel correspond to the concepts of Communism, especially during the McCarthy Era investigations and trials.
McCarthyism, in a more depth analysis, was a reaction to Communist China and the fear that instilled within the American citizens of the possibility of democracy being overruled by the Communist Party. Government personnel were mainly targeted because of their association and influence of delegating rules and regulations that impact the function of the government and the American citizens’ role within the country. Communism emphasizes total government control and aspects of censorship, which was impractical for the United States during the time due to the need for democratic jurisdiction and citizen involvement. In response to multiple communistic uprisings in Europe, the United States of America and its citizens suspected that communism thoughts and actions would soon encompa...

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...und and its powerful nose.
In the ending, Guy Montag, a fireman turned abnormal based on the dystopia he lives in, witnesses a tragic bombing that destroys the metropolis. Then, with his new found previous professor friends; the novel ends with them walking into the city to spread their knowledge. Montag finally realizes what means the most to him; distributing the knowledge that the books hold within the glue binding, cardboard masks and paper mysteries. He knows that he is completely happy, which is a big part in breaking away from the society. With him challenging himself, his witty intellect, and curiosity, Montag is rebuilding the foundation of what he helped destroyed. Guy Montag develops from conformist to insurgent because his eyes were finally opened.

Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray. “Fahrenheit 451.” New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks 2013.

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