Homework September 15th, 2008
Justification for the society in “Fahrenheit 451”, p56-62
The extract from the novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury is about the justification and history of the society, which is described in the book. Beatty, the captain of all firemen, is explaining it to Guy Montag, a fireman who begins questioning his job.
Having started with the values of that modern society - group spirit, fun and not being supposed to think - Beatty elucidates that everything becomes faster, people become impatient, their mind becomes less absorptive. During this process, there is another factor that is increasing rapidly: the population. And as there are more majorities in a bigger population, there are also more minorities. Beatty concludes it in the sentence “Bigger the population, the more minorities” (p57). Those minorities want to be accepted, respected and they do not want to be insulted or skipped in any way. Furthermore, the civilization is “so vast, that [they] can’t have [their] minorities upset and stirred” (p59). Thus, writers could no more offend “the dog lovers, the cat lovers, doctors, lawyers,…” (p57); controversies were bound to occur. “The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy” (p57), states the captain and the market is rather big.
Up to then, books were considered as “dishwater” (p57) by some critics and they stopped selling. The only literatures, people still accepted, were comic books and sex magazines.
Hence, advanced “technology, mass exploitation and minority pressure” (p58) led to the disappearance of books on the market and, according to Beatty, there was no dictum, declaration by the government or censorship inducing it.
Nowadays, people are only allowed to read comics, confessions and trade journals. The fireman pretends that anything else would make them unhappy. Due to this restriction, “you can stay happy all the time” (p58) and this is what people live for: happiness and...