In Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, the world in the future is captured by excessive media consumption, overpopulation, and severe censorship. In such a Black-Mirror-like world, people are not accepted as individuals, with books being banned because they can teach about intellectual topics that can make the population independent thinkers. With the help of the governmentally-controlled media, people are shown the present through television while also being reminded of their ancestry and history in a controlled way. The topic of censorship is vital in the book because the prohibition of any intellectual knowledge establishes a mindless society. By exploring the notion and censorship and how it affects people, the author draws parallels with the modern world of his time and the increasing impact of government-led propaganda.
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Throughout the novel, Bradbury draws upon different individuals’ experiences, illustrating how complicated and excruciating it can be to suppress one’s freedom of expression in society. To quote Montag, the character raises the question, “is it true, the world works hard and we play? Is that why we’re hated so much?” (Bradbury, 2012, p. 70). This question is posed for future generations since the novel takes place in the future. The target audience, the young people, are being warned about the impact the technology and government may become in the next several centuries, and preserving one’s individuality and logical thinking has never been as important. Censorship is a recurring theme that used to be relevant centuries ago and will have an impact in the future. No matter when one reads Fahrenheit 451, the readers from the present are encouraged to be always aware of the important political decision-making, including the efforts to silence and censor.
Bradbury, R. (2012). Fahrenheit 451. Simon & Schuster.