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Please explain or your thought about this quote: “We must all be alike. Not everyone...

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yoojung73 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 15, 2008 at 4:31 AM via web

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Please explain or your thought about this quote:

“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against”.

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cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted December 15, 2008 at 7:56 AM (Answer #1)

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This quote captures the philosophy behind the society in Fahrenheit 451: make everyone “happy” by taking away anything that would require thinking and by eliminating any differences between people. I see two major problems with this approach.

If you can’t have anyone feeling less intelligent or interesting than anyone else, everyone will have to sink to the lowest level. We have actually experienced something like this in the US in recent years, although it has been way less extreme than in Fahrenheit 451. George W. Bush’s whole image was one of someone you’d like to have a beer with – not someone who you would look up to as being especially intelligent and capable. In fact, during the campaign both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tended to downplay their excellent educations and accomplishments because many felt it was elitist to be smart.

The other big problem I have with the Fahrenheit 451 approach is that humans are unique because we have the capacity to be self-aware and to be curious about the world around us. Also, it is only by experiencing adversity that we come to truly appreciate the good things in life. If you homogenize everything we all might as well be worms.

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