Main Themes of "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

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Main Themes of “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Theme of Dystopia in Fahrenheit 451
  • Conclusion


Violence, censorship, and ignorance go hand in hand. These three themes of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 are very important messages that we can still learn from today. We can use literature to learn more about the world around us, to help change things, just like Montag tries to. We can take lessons from books, helping lower violence, helping those who are ignorant. Lastly, if we embrace books, we won’t censor the ones that have different opinions or points of views. In Ray Bradbury’s futuristic society, violence runs rampant. With technology that allows breakneck speeds, kids will run over pedestrians for the thrill of it.

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The Theme of Dystopia in Fahrenheit 451

The kids who commit violent acts don’t have to take responsibility for their actions because of an insurance company that covers everything, including killing another human with one’s car. Montag also believes that these reckless kids may have killed Clarisse, as on page 122 the author states, “They would have killed me, thought Montag, swaying…” The page later shows, “I wonder if they were the ones who killed Clarisse?” It is mind-boggling that in a different society, murdering another would be socially acceptable. Throughout Fahrenheit 451, we see how censorship affects a society of people. The firemen burn books, saying that minorities were offended by literature. Instead of allowing this controversy to happen, they burned books, taking away the knowledge that comes with reading. On page 57, Beatty states, “Colored people didn’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.” This quote shows the mindset of the people, that instead of having conflict, they should just get censor the issue.

The Fahrenheit 451 theme presents a dystopian universe where people are allowed to kill each other as they do not like conflict. This is something that is still present in our society too, even though this novel presents this case as a faraway future. There are still nations and people who run away from conflicts as they are seen as something bad. And indeed, being involved in a conflict might not make any party feel good. But conflicts, if approached healthily, can lead to helpful solutions. However, this is not happening at all in this dystopian reality where people burn books because they feel offended by the language or story. A universe where censorship is king.


We can see censorship now, with school libraries banning books such as The Hate U Give or a classic novel like To Kill A Mockingbird, because the storyline and language in these books can make people feel uncomfortable. Just as Ray Bradbury shows, we don’t like conflict, so we censor instead. The censorship of all books leads to people who don’t think, who don’t question the world around them. They do what they are told, and believe what they are told. Montag was exactly like the others citizens until he met Clarisse, the teenage girl who lived next door to him. Clarisse challenges him to question why things are the way they are. On page 28, they interact, leading to Clarisse saying, “People don’t talk about anything… But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else.” Clarisse is one of the few left in society who questions. She is different from the others, she isn’t ignorant. To conclude, Fahrenheit 451 is a story that has many relevant themes. The story shows how censorship can affect the minds of a society, how rampant violence can harm many. Lastly, we see ignorance, seen in society today. Characters like Montag and Clarisse show us how important it is to challenge the way things are to allow for a better society, for a better life.

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