Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 portrays a society eerily like our own in many ways. Bradbury’s
dystopian vision contemplated the far reaching implications of simplistic thinking, government
propaganda, and technological advance. In this essay (5+ pages, 6+ paragraphs), you will explain
one of the following social problems (the crisis) that affect society and argue for reasonable
solutions (the call to action) that can be implemented. Please select one of the following topics:
censorship, banned books, surveillance, propaganda, violations of rights, black listing, or
Limit the scope of your essay to issues as they take place in the United States unless I approve
The thesis statement of your paper should clearly specify the problem and your proposed
One half of the essay should explain the crisis:
– What is the problem? – Where does it take place? – What are the causes?
– What or whom is most affected? – Who might not see it as a problem?
The other half of the essay should include your call to action:
– What are the possible solutions? – What are the benefits of the solutions?
– What are possible limitations of the solutions? – How much will the solutions cost? Who will
pay for them? – Who might best solve the problem? Individuals, government, businesses, or a
No matter which topic you choose, you must include and analyze supporting evidence/quotations
from at least four sources. One of those may be Fahrenheit 451, but you are not required to use
Bradbury’s book. Use at least one quotation in every body paragraph. More quotations and
explanations are always better.
These research sources can include interviews, books, articles from magazines, newspapers,
journals, or books. Use the library’s electronic databases to find articles (Academic Search Com
plete, Opposing Viewpoints, CQ Press, PsycArticles, JSTOR, etc.). You may also use credible,
academic websites (i.e., Google scholar or .edu).
Audience & Purpose:
Imagine that your readers are residents, voters, or politicians in California or the United States,
but they may not agree with your position. The purpose of the paper is to persuade such people
that there is a crisis and that your call to action is reasonable.
Structure & Content Checklist:
_____ Write an informative yet creative title for your essay; write an inventive hook as well.
_____ Your introduction should identify the topic that your essay focuses on. It may be two
_____ The thesis of your essay must specifically state the problem and your proposed solutions.
____ Write a creative, informative title for your essay; write an interesting, inventive hook as
____ The introduction should identify the topic, debate, and potential controversy.
____The thesis of your essay must specifically state the problem and your proposed solutions.
____ Use clear topic sentences and transitions to provide a structure for your essay.
____ Incorporate logical reasons, analysis of examples, and research to support your thesis.
____ Include at least one quotation from research in every supporting paragraph.
____ Remember to ICE: introduce, cite, and explain each quotation, example, or paraphrase.
____ Write a strong conclusion that summarizes and wraps up the entire essay.
____ It is acceptable to use third person (they/them or he/she), but do not use the second person
____ Edit and proofread your sentences so that they are as clear and correct as possible.
____ Include a properly formatted works cited page.
____ Format your paper properly: double spaced, one inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman
• Bring this assignment sheet, your notes, your drafts, and your research materials with you when you
see a tutor at The Writing Center.
• Please feel free email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) at any point in your writing process.
31 July 2014
Censorship in society
The society has been made to believe that there are some issues that might be impossible for them to acknowledge when it a question of ignorance and knowledge. The
government has given its citizens freedom over numerous issues. However, when it is a question of censorship, it has become a sensitive talk in both its citizens and
the government. It is a process in which there will be suppressing of images, ideas or words considered offensive to moral or political values. The bill of rights
under the US constitution grants freedom of religion, speech, and press (Foerstel 49). At the same time, there are few limitations that has given room for alteration,
influence and control of the economic, political and cultural suppression. The feeling is also echoed by Fahrenheit 451, which is dystopian story attempting to predict
the future in the verge of collapsing autonomy. In the contemporary. America, censorship has shifted from political manipulation to sexual, cultural and religious
shapeups. This means that censorship in America can be stopped through creating awareness to the people on the essential problems associated with the bill.
The issues that are always relayed by the government to its people are matters related to economic, political, social, cultural and legal establishments. On the other
hand, the issues associated with censorship can be enacted through editing and manipulation of information before it is released to the public. It ranges from
judicial, legislation and direct control of the content as a part of being implemented. It is evident that the American government has passed into law various
suggestions. The laws criminalize different events or require people to do various things in order to remain on the right side. The Alien registration Act of 1940, for
instance, proves as a form of censorship (Foerstel 51). The legislation disrupted the fundamental freedoms and rights that the people enjoyed which in turn made them
dutiful and willful citizens. Under the act, any person who knowingly advocate to overthrowing the government whether peacefully or forcefully through associations or
individually commits criminal activities. Contrary to the law, citizens also had a privilege of electing and calling for elections. The problems associated with the
implementation of the censorship bill can be initiated to both the government and the society.
In history, the act censored political organizations from using, distributing, educating or even thinking about change of government. In 1991, President George W. Bush
instituted restrictions limiting media coverage of confidential military information (Zuchora-Walske 38). The tune repeated itself during the invasion of Iraq where
reporters operated in a vacuum of information while in reality things happened. The government controlled all form of information getting to the citizens (Foerstel
26). Actual number of casualties was clouded by lies and many thought the invasion was easy as heard through various news channels.
The first issue associated to the political manipulation is that the act violates the due process set in regards to law. In America, censorship is one of the real lies
that the government uses to ensure only the desired information reaches audience (Zuchora-Walske 50). In a case between Industrial Commission of Ohio and Mutual Film
Corporation in 1915, the Supreme Court banned motion pictures associating them to commerce rather than art (Speer 153). The miracle decisions in the past; however,
were weakened by successive release of films that did not conform to censorship agencies. Psycho of 1960, for example, amassed many awards even after being released
without approval from the regulating agencies. The box office hits was a clear proof of the many mistakes the government did in censoring movies of great interest to
the public. From this perspective, censorship regulates the very best things that the public requires (Foerstel 55).
Censorship also is responsible for killing innovation in the market and the society. it is true to say that it is a form of control that indirectly controls people
with or without their knowledge. Fahrenheit 451 depicts the futuristic world to be full of sanctions. The novel brings into light the diminishing autonomy replaced by
censorship that required a unidirectional thinking and action (Foerstel 56). Based on the story, the world is running to a period of curfew where only limited sources
of information prevail. This in turn makes televisions the only source of information act as censorship. According to the novel, getting any form of teaching from
other avenues such as books amounts to serious violation of authority and the rules set by the government.
The television replaces curiosity, intellectualism and literature to create a community full of non-thinkers. Interestingly, it is also responsible for creating new
family ties, relatives and friends. When Montag says,“Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she
listens to the walls.” (Bradbury 125). He is tires of the vacuum created in his family. People have turned from reading to listening to other sources of information
that they find interesting. Sharing of information is limited and many diverge into unrealistic things. Instead he is advised, “Patience, Montag. Let the war turn off
the ‘families.’ Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces.” (Bradbury 181) The statement signifies the larger extent of censorship that fights inbuilt traditions
and not external influences.
Civil liberators have embarked on strategies of ensuring that everybody through discussing the issue frequently understands censorship. The cultural
set up of many Americans do not give them the liberty of discussing about sex openly. Majority of individuals decide to use their emotions to express themselves. This
makes it possible for majority of them to support the censorship of sexuality, as it is attractive to them. The term censorship is a thought provocation of
pornography. However, this is not the case censoring pornography only plays a major part in sexual censorship. Other issues involved in sexual censorship include
advertising of contraceptives, sex education, sex survey, public nudity, fiction and internet nudity (Speer 65). For instance, schools in California have banned The
Color Purple magazines and other sexual magazines in their libraries. However, sexual censorship should involved all the aspects involved instead of focusing on
pornography alone. As this is done, one will be able to understand sexual censorship on a deeper level.
Sexual censorship is all about elimination of items that are associated to sexuality. Therefore, there are issues which should be considered in this form
of censorship is applied. The first issue involves creating awareness to the public especially the youth that sex should not used in bounding love (Zuchora-Walske 60).
The society has made people believe that when one is in love then they will be in a position of having sex casually. Sex has been made to be sane in the eye of the
public so long as two people are in love. The public should also understand that sex should be used strictly for pleasure. This is the notion that the American culture
has made people believe and pleasure is used in advocating and motivation for sexual activities.
Cultural censorship came into play before the World War 1 take place. It was enacted after the government realized that there were an increased number of
vigilante attacks that were being portrayed in literatures. This advocated for the expansion of the ban on literatures that were seen to be obscene. The censorship of
the literature led to the public uproar, which made the government to make amendments to the law on banning cultural issues. The cultural ban has also been reflected
in the modern world. For instance, the pop culture and the movie culture has had its share of ban (Speer 73). Apart from Fahrenheit 451, technological developments
have also advocated for censorship in various ways. Currently, the media constitute de facto censorship characterized by standardization of information. A complicit
difference different television channels such as NBC, CNN, and ABC as well as Fox TV exist despite existence of free reporting press.
The progressive persuasion continues to merge the difference between opinions and reporting hence satirically making bill of rights as well as freedom of press
laughable. In the wake of technological advancements and media conditioning, the US government reserves the right to give the public an acceptable view of events as
evidenced by the prosecution of five Cuban residents from Florida (Speer 50). In the scenario, the government used the free press vehicle to disseminate intentional
propaganda. In a report from the committee that protects journalists in 2013, President Obama is a liberal spectrum in pressuring journalists through indirect
censoring (Zuchora-Walske 73). Based on the report, he attacks sources, conducts surveillance, and instills a climate of fear for nay leakage. The processes have
brought media censorship to a new level.
Religious censorship is applicable to communities that feel limited and controlled in the issues they are doing in through the use of religious teachings. This form
has always been applicable to societies in different regions in the world for more than decades. Edict of Compiègne used one of the evident exploits of religious
censorship. At the same time, there are The Satanic Verses which was banned in Iran and the middle eastern countries. At the moment, numerous religious sects and cults
have been established though they target a small group of people (Zuchora-Walske 86) . However, this religious censorship has been seen to always be an act being used
to suppress the views of organized religion. This is propagated on grounds that it is act of blasphemy, sacrilege, heresy and impiety. At the same time, some religious
leader would term it to be challenging dogma, obscene and violation of a religious taboo.
Censorship was started with the aim of ensuring that issues related to ethics were the only ones reaching the public. However, this has not been the case
as people seen the law suppressing them to ideas and innovation in the form of knowledge. Therefore, the first solution to censorship involves having a law that will
fundamentally dissolve the raucous claims on censorship to stop them. This should be applied such as the intentions of the first amendment (Foerstel 94). It can be
done through a scientific approach during phrasing.
At the same time, they should censor issues that seen to be a threat to the society. the issue related to real threat should be proven through the expressions the
actions enacts. This should mean that the expression should have resulted to harmful reaction in the past. Finally, the public should be restricted from using words as
prurient interest, lascivious and offensive. These words should not be used in legislative issues.
Information is prudent for survival in the multifaceted world. One required information on security, development, political mileage, social situations, economic shape,
and cultural situations not forgetting natural events. Instead of drawing a line between intelligence and ignorance, the American government through censorship has
worked to merge the two by ensuring citizens act in a vacuum of information. Instead of using censorship, several techniques and viable solutions can avail information
to Americans while ensuring the governments integrity remains reserved. censorship in America has continually graduated from regime to regime in the succinct American
history. Despite believing to be living is a free and democratic country, many Americans remain victims of censorship through media, books, legislations, and the
internet. In many occasions, the government has manipulated information to suit political interest. It includes laws that contradict rights, interventions that
prohibit free information, threatening journalists or creating a vacuum of information as experienced by reporters in Iraq. Amicable solutions include formulating
independent bodies free of government influence, streamlining the constitution to prevent contradictory clauses.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451: A Novel. Simon and Schuster, 2012. Print
Foerstel, Herbert N. Banned in the U.S.A: An Ultimate Reference Guide to Complete Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press,
Speer, Lisa K.. “Paperback Pornography: Mass Market Novels and Censorship in Post-War America.” The Journal of American Culture 24.3-4 (2001): 153-160. Print.
Zuchora-Walske, Christine. Internet Censorship: Protecting Citizens or Trampling Freedom? Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2010. Internet resource.
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