The impact of censorship (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Book Review)



Utopian and dystopian fiction is a  genre of fiction that explores social and political structures. Within the genre of dystopian fiction, there are many different types of dystopian literature in many types of novels like this one. In the novel, Fahrenheit 451, the author   Ray Bradbury explores the power of censorship by showing how the government controls what people hear, read or listen to. This is demonstrated in the novel through the dystopian element of restriction and also of using imagery associated with the protagonist, Guy Montag.

Throughout the novel, Bradbury explores how censorship has a big impact on the people by restricting what people can hear, know, listen to and hear. First, the use of restriction through censorship is demonstrated within the novel when The government considers any intellectual works illegal and authors, and artists are labeled enemies of the state. This is first proven when Montage said “There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing” (Bradbury 48). This proves how corrupted the government in the novel is by restricting books. The reason, why Montag burns down the house the lady, is that his job as a fireman is told to burn down any house that contains any illegal knowledge such as books because they don’t want the people to know anything without their permission and the only way they can get it by watching what the government shows on television. Then the second use of restrictions within the story is when Beatty was at Montag’s house talking about the government and how they are manipulating people by controlling what they watch and listen to.This was proven when Beatty said .” Hold on a moment.’ You play God to it. But who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlour? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth (Bradbury80 ). This quote helped prove how the government restriction affects civilians by controlling what they watch and listen to. Beauty describes it as almost hypnotizing and saying that they become your reality when you are watching the television. This was another method of how the government is restricting your mind from learning anything else. Therefore, the novel has shown the use of restriction by the government. This has impacted a lot of the civilians within the story because the government likes to manipulate people by controlling what they listen to, watch and know about. They also like to restrict knowledge by making books illegal to own so if anyone has it they will burn the books, this impacts the civilian because the government sends firemen to burn down the house that has it .

Next, the use of imagery is shown in the novel how the impact of censorship has affected everybody by the government making them believe how dangerous and useless books are in their 24-century society. First, the use of imagery is shown within the novel that helps explore the power of censorship is, when Beatty was talking to Montag about the power of books. This was shown when Beatty was talking to Montag about books and how “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door.” (Bradbury 56). This quote that Beatty used is a metaphor describing how books can be dangerous and by comparing them to a weapon such as a gun. This was used by the government as a tactic to manipulate the citizens into believing how books are dangerous and why the government had banned them. Finally, the last use of imagery within the novel shows how the government has controlled the people within the novel by implying that the books are useless in their society. This was proven when Beatty talked to Montag and said "There sat Beatty, perspiring gently, the floor littered with swarms of black moths that had died in a single storm." (Bradbury 73). This was another reference to a metaphor telling the reader how the government has censored books from their society and knows people can gain knowledge from it anymore. So in the novel, Beatty comparing books to moths, they said that moths have freedom when they fly. If they remove the wings they are useless and if they destroy the liberty within the books it would be like a moth without wings. Therefore, the element of imagery helps prove that the impact of censorship by the government making the people believe that books are nothing even though the government know if people read the book they will rebel against and that why it’s dangerous for them 

In conclusion, in a utopian and dystopian world such as Fahrenheit 451, it has been shown that the government is very corrupted and how they would be restricted to any form of knowledge such as books. So to keep them from gaining knowledge, they try to manipulate the civilians by telling them books are useless and they should listen to the government unless they want to face the consequences.