1984 & Fahrenheit 451
The Pessimism of 1984 vs. The Optimism of Fahrenheit 451
Both 1984 by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury are futuristic depictions of totalitarian societies that value conformity over individualism. The two novels present systems of institutionalized control. There are strict laws and rules governing behavior and thoughts, and both societies are based on a hierarchy. The protagonists in the novels, inston Smith and Guy Montag, are unhappy with the control their respective societies exert on people's lives, so they attempt to find ways to usurp the systems.
Both authors examine the idea of a central authority that has no institutional checks or limitations. Both societies endeavor to control how people perceive their own reality. Through the burning of books in Bradbury's work or through mechanisms such as the thought police in Orwell's, both works feature a reality where collective security and control have……
Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is widely taught in junior high and high schools and is for many students the first time they learn the names Aristotle, Dickens and Tolstoy.
Now, Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship. Nor was it a response to Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose investigations had already instilled fear and stifled the creativity of thousands.
A future society depicted by Bradbury is alarming and differs much from our one. Such things like feelings, socializing, appreciation, and communication are vanishing from their lives. These people are turning to something which is totally inhumane. The relationships inside the couples are a burden. Nothing seems worthwhile. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a genius work to make people ponder over the future.
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Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Del Rey, 1987.
Fahrenheit 451 is a book about a society which depends on technology to a great extent. In the early 1950s, Ray Bradbury, who was only generating the idea for Fahrenheit 451, remarked of his anxiety about the role radio and television played in causing short attention spans. This is a story which alerts us of the multitasking danger. (Sam Weller, 2005)
Politically libertarian or left-wing science fiction writers, like Ursula K. Le Guin, author Frank Herbert, or Philip K. Dick, who adopted the critique of neo-imperialist capitalism that was in vogue in the 1960s, might have given the last word to the guy who “goes native.” Not our Midwestern middle-of-the-roader, Ray Bradbury. The ecologists have a decent point, but they shouldn’t go too far — this we see from the fact that angry Jeff Spender takes off on a rampage, killing his boorish crewmates, forcing his captain to order his death. Spender is one of several violent radicals in Bradbury’s fiction who get their comeuppance.
Page 2 Dystopian Society in Fahrenheit 451 Essay
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