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The theme of conformity in fahrenheit 451 a novel by ray bradbury

What does true happiness consist of? Is ignorance bliss, or do knowledge and learning provide true happiness? Montag, in his belief that knowledge reigns, fights against a society that embraces and celebrates ignorance. The fireman's responsibility is to burn books, and therefore destroy knowledge. Through these actions, the firemen promote ignorance to maintain the sameness of society.

  1. When not in their interactive TV rooms, many characters, including Guy Montag's wife Mildred, spend much of their time with "Seashell ear thimbles" in their ears—miniature radio receivers that play constant broadcasts of news, advertisements, and music, drowning out the real sounds of the world.
  2. Is ignorance bliss, or do knowledge and learning provide true happiness?
  3. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Indeed the culture that exists in the novel is one without libraries personal or public , or any kind of worthwhile artistic or intellectual pursuit.
  4. How did they contribute to their own status as victims?
  5. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not.

After befriending Clarisse, Montag finds himself unable to accept the status quo, believing life is more complete, true and satisfying when knowledge is welcomed into it. After making this discovery, Montag fights against ignorance, trying to help others welcome knowledge into their lives.

For example, when his wife's friends come over, he forces them to listen to poetry. Although they become extremely upset after listening to what he reads, they are able to experience true emotion. In Montag's view, this emotion will give these women a fuller and more satisfying life. For example, Montag's wife Millie attempts suicide by swallowing sleeping pills.

Montag discovers her, calls for emergency medical assistance and saves her life. During the time while the medical team is reviving Millie, it is unclear whether she will live or die. Montag learns through the medics that reviving suicide attempts is a very common act. The commonality of suicide attempts and saves blurs the line between life and death in this futuristic society.

Upon realizing this, Montag begins to wonder what life truly is and why it feels so empty and dead. Furthermore, the tool the medics use to pump Millie's stomach is referred to as the Electric-Eyed Snake, and the tool the firmen use to hunt down book owners is the Mechanical Hound, both inanimate objects that appear to have lives of their own. Montag finds himself wondering, are they alive or dead? In truth, in Montag's search for truth and knowledge, he is trying to give true life to his own existence and to prevent the cultural death of society.

Many people die in the novel. The old woman burns herself to death, Clarisse is killed by a speeding car, Montag kills Beatty with the flamethrower, and the theme of conformity in fahrenheit 451 a novel by ray bradbury Mechanical Hound kills an innocent man. Among all this destruction, Montag survives and is given new life, reborn after his trip down the river and after meeting Granger and taking the concoction to change his chemical balance.

While Montag survives, the city and everyone he knew there are destroyed. Montag's interest in knowledge and dedication to a new and better society saved him. Thus, Bradbury seems to suggest that life is dependent on knowledge and awareness. If we become idle and complacent, we might as well be dead. Animal Imagery In the opening paragraph, the burning book pages are compared to birds trying to fly away. When Millie attempts suicide, Montag compares the tool used to save her to a snake.

  • The story is a satire that pokes holes in the accepted norms of modern day living;
  • It expects every civilian to follow its laws i;
  • Mildred is there, but her mind is floating away with the music of her seashell radio and she is almost lost to a sleeping pill overdose;
  • Perhaps it is because he has read and memorized many books in the past, but now refuses to accept them or act on his suppressed idealism.

The Mechanical Hound is a dominant presence throughout the novel. The image of the salamander is dominant as well, as a symbol of the fireman.

In addition, the story of the Pheonix plays a prominent role. This animal imagery expresses the importance of nature in life. The lack of nature, or the manipulation of nature i. The only time animal imagery is positive in the entire novel is when Montag gets out of the river and encounters a deer. At first he thinks it is a Hound, but then realizes his mistake.

The deer is peaceful, beautiful, and an expression of nature. This image welcomes Montag into his new life. Technology Technology in Bradbury's 24th century is highly advanced.

Television screens take up entire parlor room walls and characters can speak directly to the listener, addressing him or her by name.

Small seashell radios broadcast into people's ears throughout the day. People rely on inventions such as the Mechanical Hound and the snake-like tool used to save Millie's life after her suicide attempt. People drive cars at speeds of 150mph and above. Faber invents a small radio to be inserted in the ear through which he can communicate with Montag. Montag discusses this issue briefly with Clarisse and reflects on it as he opens up to the world of books.

When he finally escapes his old life, the city is destroyed by atomic bombs yet another example of negative technologyand Montag begins a simple life with very little technological tools as he sets out to rebuild society with Granger and the other intellectuals.

Clearly, Bradbury is commenting on the negative influence of technological development in this world and the destructive potential of technology in our society. Paradoxes At the opening of Part I, when Montag goes home, his bedroom is described at first as "not empty" and then as "indeed empty".

Mildred is there, but her mind is floating away with the music of her seashell radio and she is almost lost to a sleeping pill overdose. This concept of paradoxes continues throughout the book, expressed in the conflicts between life and death mentioned earlier. Examples include the "electric-eyed snake" tool that the technicians use to revive Mildred, and the Mechanical Hound, which appears to be both machine and animal.

Furthermore, this paradox exists in the concept of "truth" portrayed in the novel. Beatty's "truth" is a fabrication and manipulation of history.

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Actual truth is hidden from society, or more accurately, burned. Many people in Montag's life, including Millie and her friends, believe they live in reality when in fact they live in a superficial world dominated by television, government oppression and the media.

Society is blind to the truth. Montag's discovery of the truth and his dedication to living a life of truth save him from the ultimate destruction bombs bring to the city.

Religion Although it appears no character in Fahrenheit 451 holds any religious beliefs, Bradbury includes many religious references in this novel. The book Montag saves from the old woman's house is The Bible. Throughout his tribulations, Montag holds on to this book, reading it on the subway, showing it to Faber, and finally, with Granger and the other intellectuals, Montag agrees that The Bible is the book he will memorize in order to one day, in a new society, reprint.

Furthermore, Montag compares Millie's friends to icons he saw in a church once but did not understand. Later on in the novel, Faber compares himself to water and Montag to fire, saying the cooperation of the two will produce wine.

This is an allusion to the biblical story of the miracle at Cana where Christ transforms water into wine. At the conclusion of the novel, Montag, Granger and the rest of the intellectuals walk up the river to find survivors of the ultimate atomic destruction of the city. In his walk, Montag remembers passages he read in his Bible from Ecclesiastes 3: Mass Media Much of Fahrenheit 451 is devoted to depicting a future United States society bombarded with messages and imagery by an omnipresent mass media.

Instead of the small black-and-white TV screens common in American households in 1953 the year of the book's publicationthe characters in the novel live their lives in rooms with entire walls that act as televisions. These TVs show serial dramas in which the viewer's name is woven into the program and the viewer is able to interact with fictional characters called "the relatives" or "the family. When not in their interactive TV rooms, many characters, including Guy Montag's wife Mildred, spend much of their time with "Seashell ear thimbles" in their ears—miniature radio receivers that play constant broadcasts of news, advertisements, and music, drowning out the real sounds of the world.

Throughout the novel, The theme of conformity in fahrenheit 451 a novel by ray bradbury portrays mass media as a veil that obscures real experience and interferes with the characters' ability to think deeply about their lives and societal issues. Bradbury isn't suggesting that media other than books couldn't be enriching and fulfilling.

As Faber tells Montag, "It isn't books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not. When they're found, they're burned, along with the homes of the books' owners. But it's important to remember that in the world of this novel, the suppression of books began as self-censorship. As Beatty explains to Montag, people didn't stop reading books because a tyrannical government forced them to stop.

Another factor that contributes to the growth of censorship in Fahrenheit 451 are minorities and what we might call "special interest groups.

VCE English: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Themes, Conflict and Symbols

Books, and the critical thinking they encouraged, became seen as a direct threat to equality. By making widespread censorship a phenomenon that emerges from the culture itself—and not one that is simply imposed from above by the government—Bradbury is expressing a concern that the power of mass media can ultimately suppress free speech as thoroughly as any totalitarian regime. Individuality Pleasure-seeking and distraction are the hallmarks of the culture in which Montag lives. Although these may sound like a very self-serving set of values, the culture is not one that celebrates or even tolerates a broad range of self-expression.

However, whenever individuals start to question the purpose of such a life, and begin to look for answers in books or the natural world and express misgivings, they become threats.

Their questions and actions might cause others to face the difficult questions that their culture is designed to distract them from. For that reason, in the society of Fahrenheit 451 people who express their individuality find themselves social outcasts at best, and at worst in real danger.

Clarisse McClellan represents free thought and individuality. She's unlike anyone else Montag knows. She has little interest in the thrill-seeking of her peers. She'd rather talk, observe the natural world firsthand, and ask questions.

She soon disappears and is probably killed. Fahrenheit 451's society is set up to snuff out individuality—characters who go against the general social conformity Clarisse, Faber, Granger, and Montag do so at great risk. Happiness Fahrenheit 451 makes the case that engaging with difficult and uncomfortable thoughts and experiences is the only routes to true happiness.

Only by being uncomfortable, or experiencing things that are new or awkward, can people achieve a real and meaningful engagement with the world and each other.

  1. Activisim For Teenagers, New York.
  2. By making widespread censorship a phenomenon that emerges from the culture itself—and not one that is simply imposed from above by the government—Bradbury is expressing a concern that the power of mass media can ultimately suppress free speech as thoroughly as any totalitarian regime. People rely on inventions such as the Mechanical Hound and the snake-like tool used to save Millie's life after her suicide attempt.
  3. Fahrenheit 451's society is set up to snuff out individuality—characters who go against the general social conformity Clarisse, Faber, Granger, and Montag do so at great risk. Paradoxes At the opening of Part I, when Montag goes home, his bedroom is described at first as "not empty" and then as "indeed empty".

The people in the novel who lack such engagement, such as Mildred, feel a profound despair, which in turn makes them more determined to distract themselves by watching more TV, overdosing on sleeping pills, or letting technicians use a specialized machine to suck away their sadness.

The result is a vicious cycle, in which people are terrified to expose themselves to any kind of emotion or difficulty because doing so will force them to face their pent-up despair, though in reality it's their avoidance of those thoughts and feelings that creates their despair.

Only after he acknowledges his own unhappiness can Montag make the life-changing decision to find Faber and resist his society's oppressive "happiness" and thought-suppression that he, as a fireman, once enforced. Conflict Protagonist The protagonist in the novel is Guy Montag, a 24th century fireman who starts fires rather than puts them out. His responsibility to the city is to burn houses that contain books, since books are illegal.

Montag begins to question his acceptance of the status quo and learns to be a non-conformist. Various people and events encourage him in his pursuit of truth, including Clarisse McClellan and the old lady who dies in her home. By the end of the novel, Montag is the leader of a revolutionary movement dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge.