12 Jan 2009

Essays on Fahrenheit 451

In colleges and universities around the world, students are often asked to read and evaluate dystopian novels.  One of these, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is, ironically, about a society where books have become unlawful to even own.  Bradbury, like most dystopian writers, was concerned about trends he saw happening in the society around him.  As the social and even legalistic expectations of political correctness have increased over the past few decades, the censorship of books has reared its ugly head, causing many writers to second guess their work and water it down to limit the number of people who might be offended by their work.


The main character of the story is a “fireman.”  Not the kind we might think of today, but one who is responsible for burning books, along with any structure in which they are found.  Guy Montag lives in a world gone mad with consumerism, censorship, and the thirst for faster cars.  As with most dystopian novels, a series of events causes Guy to begin questioning the world in which he lives, realizing there is something more, something beyond the law, something beyond his own assumptions, and he begins a fast paced quest to find the answer.


  • In the novel “Fahrenheit 451,” three fundamental forms of censorship are revealed:  social censorship in which special interest groups pressure for the censorship, self-censorship in which individual authors begin censoring themselves to avoid social censorship, and institutional censorship where censorship becomes a matter of law.  Identify examples of each within the novel and within our own society and discuss why Bradbury was so concerned about the subject.
  • Proponents of censorship claim that the public and nation must be protected from certain “dangerous” ideologies, ranging from political malcontents to concepts which religious groups claim are sacrilegious.   Opponents decry the silencing of opposition voices and new ideas are counter to what the United States represents.  In light of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, does censorship truly have a place in a free society?  Why or why not?

In an age where political correctness is not only permiating our society, but even intruding into the halls of science, philosophy, and law, can original thought or opinions which stand against conventional wisdom have a chance?  Or, as Bradbury predicted, are we doomed by our own personal agendas to be safe from anything controversial, but void of any innovative impulses?  Only time, and our decisions, will tell.


For help with essays on “Fahrenheit 451” or any other literary work, please feel free to contact our staff of wonderful and talented writers who eagerly await your order to do their part in the fight against censorship.

Filed under: College literature papers — Tags: , , , — admin @ 8:03 pm
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