The citizens have been brainwashed, and the world is a changed place. “Nobody knows anybody” (Bradbury, 14). In Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, reading books has been banned, and have been replaced with parlor walls.
Fahrenheit 451 was written by Ray Bradbury to reflect on the way of life at the time the book was published. The book was published in 1953, during the McCarthy era. During this era, people were being taken left and right due to fears of communism. He also feared the rise of television and believed that it would soon replace books altogether, making people uneducated robots. Ray Bradbury communicates the dangers of technology and dangers of government, and although I agree, I feel as if it leans more towards knowledge and truth.
Something seemed very wrong with the society that they lived in, yet nobody realized it. Guy Montag, a loyal fireman, lived his life without any doubts or regrets. But Guy’s world changed when he met Clarisse, a young 17-year old living with her uncle, who enlightened him about the ways of the past. Once hearing Clarisse speak, Guy Montag began to question everything he has previously believed in. “I thought about books. And for the first time, I realized that a man was behind each one of the books.” (48). He was being lied to and brainwashed every second of every day because he was weak and unaware of the real world. Like a candle in the night being extinguished, Clarisse was killed, and Montag never heard of her again. But as she left, someone came to fill the void, and he was Fabre, an old professor who had witnessed what the government had done to the people.
The Government had been lying to Montag ever since he could remember. They were subconsciously making the citizens uneducated robots who obeyed the government. Because educated people ask questions, and without educated people, there are no questions. A prime example of this happening is when Montag is riding the train to Fabre’s house. “Trumpets blared. “Denham’s Dentifrice.” Shut up, Montag. Consider the lilies of the field. “Denham’s Dentifrice.” They toil not- “Denham’s- “Consider the lilies of the field, shut up, shut up. “Dentifrice!”” (74). All of the other people on the train were being sucked into it, but Montag is struggling to do something different. ““Hello,” whispered Montag, fascinated as always with the dead beast [the mechanical hound], the living beast.” (22). The mechanical hound is a metaphor for the government. It is dead, but not dead; it is there, but not there; it is watching, but not watching.
In both Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm by George Orwell, the society in which the citizens live in appears as a perfect utopian society, but some of them slowly begin to realize that the society is truly a dystopia in disguise. The government in Fahrenheit 451 and Napoleon in Animal Farm hide more than they let on. As in Fahrenheit 451, the government hides the power of books and replaces them with TV, and in Animal Farm, Napoleon hides what he and the pigs are truly doing with the food. Not only that, but in both Fahrenheit 451 and Animal Farm, the government and Napoleon are spreading propaganda that their society is the best.
In Fahrenheit 451, the government has lied to the citizens and tricked them to their own ways. They discouraged knowledge and curiosity and praised loyalty and ignorance. Nobody was themselves, but they were robots serving for the governments.