Fahrenheit 451 is a book that contains a constant motif: censorship and its effects. It raises a great few questions. How would censorship affect the modern society? Is it legal and constitutional (within the United States)? Would it make an impact on society for better or for worse? The way that the story takes place is a sort of invitation to start thinking about what the positive and negative effects would be if such a society was formed.
But is the Fahrenheit 451 society possible today? I believe it is not possible simply because the world is able to distinguish the difference between imagination and bias. Not only that, but books such as this one are able to open up people’s eyes and minds about their society, and help to develop ideas. But, is it possible for there to be a total loss of interest in our world some day? It is up to our future generations to decide, but it might still be possible.
The plot within Fahrenheit 451 contains a character named Guy Montag, a fireman who sets fire to books and libraries instead of putting the fires out. He has a wife, Millie, who is obsessed with talking to her “family” through the interactive parlor walls of the house and is too busy with that to realize the facts of life in the outside world. He meets an odd girl named Clarisse McClellan one day after burning books, and she makes Montag start to question his life and society to the point of wanting to start a rebellion, which he doesn’t have the heart to do.
Many people, when they read Fahrenheit 451, start to question if that is the life the future will give us all. According to the book, that hatred for books started after people lost interest in them. After the interest was lost, the government noticed all the controversy between all the books and how it has many opinions that other people are not fond of, so they decided to fake history as we know it and make sure all books were banned and/or destroyed. Our world appears to be going in the same direction as the book, except not really. In the modern era, it is not as though the books are causing controversy over beliefs and ideals, but it is just the lack of time to read, or the conversion to electronic or audio books, that is causing the interest in books to dwindle.
So, at this point, it is not possible for this society to ever be possible unless if the world is taken over by a dictatorship that doesn’t allow any biases or thoughts against their own ideals. As it has been touched upon in the previous paragraphs, Captain Beatty had a monologue about the reason why firemen were what they were, and he linked it to the realizations that hardly anybody had any interest in books anymore, and they had less time to be able to read them.
He explained that the media tried to make things more convenient to people so they didn’t have to use much effort when doing activities, and in that effort to make things convenient, they condensed books and turned them into movies and pictures, eventually making an actual book pointless. In our technological based society, we rely on electronics to make things more convenient to us, and therefore reading books is almost obsolete. But, it will never get to a point where people will be burning down libraries to avoid differences in thoughts and biases. In conclusion, nobody quite knows what is in store for everybody in the future. The only thing that limits us from trying to imagine it is our imagination.
There are some things in Fahrenheit 451 that try to ignite our imagination just like the characters ignite the fires. It sends everybody into a world of general hate for written literature, and they have been banned for having biases, controversy, and lengthiness despite time constraints in the people’s lives. It sets the tone as it is a great prediction of the future. But, in all reality, that situation would not happen because the lack of interest of book reading is because of developing technology, not the controversial thoughts being expressed.