Rising from the Ashes

Heinrich Heine’s article highlights the association between the burning of books and the burning of people. In Farenheit 451, books symbolize the possibility to be anything you want, which emphaizes the human need for basic freedoms. Therefore , burning these books will deprive people of the possibility to be more than what they’re society upholds, and in doing so contributes to the oppressed, mechanical society in which the story is situated. Bradbury’s narrative depicts the world that results from abandoning possibility in the pursuit of peace-what is acquired instead is a purposelessly repetitive and stagnated culture, where no progress is made, rendering the apparent “peace” equally as purposeless. However, it becomes clear that this pursuit of peace results in those who simply desire to erase individuality in fear of appeasing the needs of the many. Clarissa’s brief presence as an agent of change and subsequent sudden “departure” from the narrative indicates just how threatening Montag’s society is to those who think for themself. By asking Montag if “[he is] happy,” she plants a seed of thought which ultimately blossoms into self-reflection that stands in the face of the wildfire that has razed Montag’s world. As such, it is clear that thought-provoking ideas, and the ability to question such basic things as one’s own happiness are vital if Bradbury’s “utopia” is to have any hope of redemption.

-Heleena

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One thought on “Rising from the Ashes

  1. I really enjoyed how you said “the wildfire that has razed Montage’s world.” I would have never thought of it in that way because I saw the fires as very controlled since they were started by firemen. But by mentioning “wildfire” a new image was created for me. Perhaps the fire is “wild” in a sense because the firemen REALLY don’t have any control over it since they were taught to start the fires and it is almost automatic. Its out of the fireman’s control because even if they start to think against this practise of burning books the government will continuing ruling with an iron fist over minds and the burning will still occur. It is this way because of easy control brought by the ignorance that was bred by the lack of knowledge they obtain which is controlled by the governments censorship. Thanks so much for providing this thought provoking idea of the “wildfire” within Montag’s world. (I also enjoyed your title)
    -Hannah Brennan

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