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An 1

Prophesy Inside Fahrenheit 451

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An 2 Table of Contents Outline....................................................................................................................................3 Introduction ............................................................................................................................4 Body .......................................................................................................................................4 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................7 Reference ...............................................................................................................................8

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An 3 Outline I. Introduction II. Body A. Decrease of Thinkers B. Lack of Love C. Deterioration of Nature III. Conclusion

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An 4 Esther An Mrs. Panks Genre Literature 22 May 2011 Prophesy Inside Fahrenheit 451 Introduction “I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it,” Ray Bradbury once stated regarding his widely read book, Fahrenheit 451. However, it seems as if his writing is becoming true in modern society. The story of Fahrenheit 451 revolves around a population group blinded by heavy censorship. Books are being banned and burnt to destruction by the government‟s deadly orders. Guy Montag, a devoted fireman, realizes that his life of starting fires instead of putting them out is empty and not worth living for. His unique neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, reveals to him that there is so much missing in their society teeming with ignorant and self conceitedself-conceited people, like his wife, Mildred. Determined to change this, the main character sets out on a rebellious mission to revive what is being destroyed in his hopeless surroundings. Modern Society‟s steady destruction of thinkers, love, and nature is clearly prophesied in this novel. Body The decrease of thinkers in Montag‟s society is clearly evident all around the world today. “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal… A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it,” Captain Beatty, the chief fireman, explains to the protagonist about the history and the reason behind book burning. Books contain a tremendous amount of different viewpoints and ideas, which go against certain types of minorities. This is the reason why Guy‟s society burns books – they bring controversy, and they are not able to please every single person. Today, some

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An 5 countries are beginning to ban churches that speak against homosexual acts, because it offends those who do act upon them. Just like how books are being destroyed because of opposing ideas in the society of Fahrenheit 451, some religions are being punished for speaking out about what they believe to be true. “„Off-hours, yes. But time to think? If you‟re not driving a hundred miles an hour… then you‟re playing some game or sitting in some room where you can‟t argue with the four-wall televisor,” quips Faber, an aged inventor and a retired English professor. He shares to his friend Montag about how no one has the leisure to think in his or her society. They have plenty of time, or “off-hours,” for preoccupying themselves with mindless-pleasure seeking, instead. Mildred, for example, cannot survive without technology, such as the four-wall televisor or the Seashell Radio. Similar to the TV and Internet in modern society, Mildred‟s obsession of technology does not give her any time to think for herself, and it does not increase her level of knowledge at all. Modern society shows a possibility of reaching a point where thinkers are almost non-existent, just like the society in Bradbury‟s novel. The area Montag lives in overflows with citizens who do not have love for each other, and this characteristic seems to be prominent in present society. “McClellan. Run over by a car. Four days ago. I‟m not sure. But I think she‟s dead,” recalls Mildred as she casually brings up how her husband‟s dear neighbor and friend, Clarisse, is killed. It is evident in Mildred‟s speech that she does not care at all for another person‟s death, and this shows how love in non-existent for each other in Montag‟s society. Also, the protagonist‟s society is used to people dying by getting run over by a car, and they view it as perfectly normal for people to harm others for benefitting themselves. Nowadays, it is so common to see people illegally downloading music, which is equivalent to stealing. They download it for free to enjoy the songs without having to give out their own money, but this act affects the artists‟ negatively. None of them have any love or care for the owners of the music, who sacrifices

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An 6 an enormous amount of time into their work. Also, in modern society, divorce is viewed as if it is a phase most married couples go through. There is no significance in the term “marriage” or “commitment” anymore. Guy and Mildred Montag are married for 10 years, but they seem to be living on two different planets millions of miles away. Their love for each other is impossible to recognize, and this is proven by the fact that they do not even remember where they first met. Similar to this, Mildred‟s friend, Mrs. Bowles, proudly chatters on about how she treats her children, “I put up with them when they come home three days a month… You have them into the „parlor‟ and turn the switch. It‟s like washing clothes: stuff laundry in and slam the lid.” Her children are merely accessories for her, and she does not give any effort to show them motherly care. There are an abundance of families in modern society that are broken off from each other instead of being bonded by love. Love ceases to exist in Montag‟s environment; instead, individuality overpowers community, just like the society of the 21st century. The natural environment in modern society is rapidly deteriorating, parallel to the nature‟s condition of Montag‟s world. “I‟m crazy… I like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise,” Clarisse McClellan admits to Guy about how she is different from others, because she delights in observing her natural surroundings. People in Montag‟s society do not spend any time to enjoy nature and appreciate them like Clarisse; instead, they whiz by them, speeding as fast as possible on their cars. If Clarisse lived in modern society, she would be considered strange, too. No one has the time to stop and taste the rain – they are always preoccupied with making money or being sucked into technology. The current world is full of stench from the awful pollution of cars, factories, and littering, and this all originates from people‟s lack of concern for the earth. Montag‟s society shows this too, by traveling everywhere with cars and burning down houses frequently. When Montag escapes from the Hound into a forest untouched by

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An 7 pollution, he is amazed at how different it is from his own society, and eventually reaches an epiphany. At the forest, Granger explains to him how people do not recognize the power of nature. “When we forget how close the wilderness is in the night… someday it will come in and get us, for we will have forgotten how terrible and real it can be.” Montag‟s society is wiped away of life and nature because of the very quick, but very destructive war that happened while Guy was in the forest. All of nature is lost in Montag‟s society because of the devastating actions of humans. InhabitentsInhabitants of modern society is becoming alarmed of how the earth is responding to their carelessness of nature, and an example of this is the controversy created by astonishing weather changes, often labeled as global warming. As an effect of the lack of care for nature, both of the worlds in Montag‟s society and modern society show catastrophic changes. Conclusion Human‟s destructiveness toward thinkers, love, and nature is shockingly similar to that of Montag‟s society. People are limiting the freedom to express thoughts and the leisure time to think in both societies. Also, individuality is overpowering community and love, and a lack of care for nature is clearly depicted, too. It is quite amazing how Ray Bradbury saw this coming more than half a century ago. However, it is also unfortunate how his book, Fahrenheit 451, is more of a prophesy than a prevention.

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An 8 Reference "SparkNotes: Fahrenheit 451." SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. Web. 17 Aug. 2011. <http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/451/>.

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