Governments have always had censorship of different forms and for varied reasons. However, it is not still that the given reasons are acceptable to society. In many cases, the censorships end up in heated debates with the proponents on one side and lovers of such works on the other. Fahrenheit 451 is one such book that openly talks about censorship and the government deciding what is right for the people. The irony is getting the government censoring the book, which talks about such excesses. The paper has a quick summary of the book and the reasons for its ban. It also discusses why it is not necessary to censor Fahrenheit 451.
Fahrenheit 451 Summary
Guy Montag works as a fireman but with a different job description. The firemen in this society are involved in burning books deemed unfit. Although it is a job that he likes and enjoys doing, several happenings change his way of thinking. The encounter with Clarisse makes him realize that he is not as happy as he has always believed. "I'm not thinking, I'm doing like I'm told, like aleways," is an illustration of how Montag was mentally captive (Ringold, 343). She is free-thinking and has been put on therapy because of this. The other event is that of his wife overdosing on sleeping pills. The medical personnel who attend to her are uncaring, and that opens his eyes on society and purported ideals. He also hears similar sentiments by Clarisse's family, which is attributed to illiteracy (McGiveron, 339). The protest by the old woman where she burns herself alive rather than watch destroy her books also helps to open his eyes, and he steals a book. It is after this incident that he turns to the truth-finding mission that eventually leads to his exile and the eventual rebuilding of the society.
Reasons for Censorship of Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451 has been censored in several schools. Among the reasons for the censorship is the use of the foul language in the book. Parents whose kids have read the book nave stated that the book contains vulgar language and is likely to be a bad influence on their children. However, the reason for vulgar language lacks justification. As it is prophesied in the book, people are preoccupied with large screens. The televisions that fill the sitting rooms have shows which teach the kids foul language from an early point. There is no new word in Fahrenheit 451 for a sixth-grade kid. Therefore, vulgar language is not an excuse to censor the book.
The other reason why the book is censored includes violent scenes in the book. It is said that the scenes are likely to entrench a culture of violence in society. The argument is that when the kids learn of such things, they will grow thinking they are normal, and it will be hard to change the mindset. One such scene is where Guy Montley kills his fellow firemen during the burning of his house (McGiveron, 339). Again, as correctly predicted in the book, these are scenes that kids are already accustomed to in different ways. Although they have no time to read them in books, they are readily available in other forms. As an example, some types of video games are all about violence and the killing of an opponent. In such video games, the kids are parties, and they feel part as opposed to the books where they remain, spectators, as they read. Additionally, few films and videos attract the kids where there are no violence and sex scenes.
Parents have called on the censorship of the book several times. Although they have raised their concerns about the language and the scenes of violence, the reasons are not valid enough to justify the censorship of the book. Literature reflects what is in society, and an expectation of anything different is hypocritical. Similarly, any replacement of the book in schools will not offer an all-time solution. Most of the books available today have what is termed as vulgar language or scenes of violence or both.
Censorship of any book is a threat to all the other books. While is it is acceptable that there are different opinions, care should be taken on how they get exercised. A call to censor a book because you disagree with some of the content is dictatorial (Anwar, 246). The other people should be free to express their views without fear of condemnation. When authors are at the fear of such condemnation, it will be impossible to give a reflection of the society freely. Although the book was written decades ago, it correctly expressly the current society where everything is contained in televisions and other electronic gadgets, and the people are slow to think outside what is fed there. Therefore, any move to censor the book is wrong, and society should unite against it.
Fahrenheit 451 is a work of literature that talks about censorship. Although those who call for its censorship have their reasons, they do not justify the call. The book does not have a scene where it is introducing new vulgar words in society. Similarly, the cited scenes of violence are common in screens every day. Therefore, it is only reasonable to let kids enjoy the excellent piece of literature as they learn.
Anwar, Maria. "Postmodern Dystopian Fiction: An Analysis of Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'." International Journal 4.1 (2016): 246-249.
McGiveron, Rafeeq O. "Ray Bradbury." Extrapolation. 58.2/3 (2017): 338-341.
Ringold, Debra Jones. "Assumptions about Consumers, Producers, and Regulators: What They Tell Us about Ourselves." Journal of the Association for Consumer Research 1.3 (2016): 341-354.
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