PBA Fahrenheit 451 Essay Example


Cambridge defines suppression as the act of preventing something from being seen or expressed or from operation. Fahrenheit 451 explores the ideas of suppression in a way that gives the reader a sense of despair for a society, and makes them reflect on events within their society in a way that one usually wouldn't. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag experiences a conflict within himself and struggles with his blissful ignorance and compliance in the society that suppressed him which leads him to a community of former intellectuals who encourage him to forgive himself and join them in rebuilding society.  

Book burning, a historical reality across modern cultures, forms a major component of the societal complacency in Fahrenheit 451.  History has witnessed the burning of books recurrently. From Nazi Germany burning books written by  intellectuals like Einstien in the 1930s to the Catholic Church buring Lutherarian writings during the protestant reformation. The society in Fahrenheit 451 follows the trend of book burning when the government deems that books generate socially dangerous ideas and lead to differing opinions. Montag is a fireman and is tasked with the burning of books and the houses which the book found in. In part one of the novel firemen rush to the house in an ancient part of the city filled with books. As the firemen are throwing books out into the yard to pour kerosene all over them, a book falls open and Montag reads the line “Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine”(Bradbury 37).  Even though Montag only had a second to read the line Montag described it as “it blazed in his mind as if stamped there with fiery steel”(Bradbury 37). This line has such a profound effect on Montag that he involuntarily steals the book which later turns out to be a poetry book. When the woman sees all of her books out in the yard she decides instead of being arrested for having books she will die with them as she burns the books herself. This creates a conflict within Montag being what it is about books that people are willing to die for them. This conflict further grates within montag when he arrives home to see his wife do nothing but listen to broadcasts. Montag sees her as unfocused in life and just going through life and not really living. This further pushes Montag to question his role in society, along with his new friend Clarice who tells him about a time when people weren't afraid of different ideas. This fosters a push within Montag to explore and learn more about this time past through books.

Having differing ideas in the society of Fahrenheit 451 means being ostracized from society and forced to be alone. Being marginalized for differing opinions has been prevalent throughout all history and even today our own society suffers from many of the same blights that have been pushed to the extreme within Fahrenheit 451. Throughout parts two and three of the novel, Montag experiences  increasing dissatisfaction with himself for being part of a destructive system. In the beginning of part two of the novel Montag meets Faber on a park bench. Faber is an old man who is a retired English Professor who has been rejected by society whomst speaks to Montag about books.This is symbolic of Montag's new openness to different ideas and people who think differently. Montags pursuance of what is within books continues with him calling Faber as soon as he gets home and asks him how many copies of the bible are there left in the country. Faber is confused and nervous because of the repercussions, but Montag persits with questions about authors like Shakespeare and Plato but Faber hangs up out of Fear. In Part three of the novel Montag's wife This further pushes Montag towards Faber with curiosity and further away from his wife and society with disdain for it. In part three of Fahrenheit 451 Montag’s wife Mildred betrays Montag and tells Montag’s boss Captain Beatty about the books Montag has been stealing. This forces the other firemen to make Montag burn all of his books, with Montags describing the events as. “The books leapt and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers''(Bradbury 117). This is symbolic of how Montag’s imagination has grown, toward the end of the novel Montag sees things differently. He describes things in a much more poetic fashion instead of the dreary and bland descriptions of the world around him he gives in the beginning. Mildred’s betrayal also further compounds Montag’s guilt and gives him the perspective of the suppressed, leading to Montag killing his boss Captain Beatty with the same flame thrower he had to burn his books with. Montag killing his boss solidifies his transition to a societal outcast and now a fugitive which forces him to seek a group of intellectuals who live outside the city in solitude. But when Montag arrives at the camp he is reluctant to join because of his previous actions as a firefighter, and he and his colleagues were responsible for these people to have to live away from civilization. A member of the group asks Montag if he has anything to offer. Montag replies with “Nothing. I thought I had part of the Book of Ecclesiastes and maybe a little of  Revelation, but I haven't even that now”(Bradbury 150). But the Montag is reassured and comes to learn that the group reads books and memerizes them but then are forced to burn them out of fear of discovery. Montag comes to forgive himself and embrace and learn with his new found friends. 

Fahrenheit 451 ends on a very somber note, with the city being destroyed by nuclear bombs, and montag reflecting on his old life. The story of Guy Montag bears a resemblance to that of a phoenix in which both reborn from the ashes. Montag had his life burned in front of him and came to suffer at the hand of the society that he was an active part of, but at the end he forgave himself for his previous actions and played an active part in rebuilding a new society out of the ashes of the old. 

 

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