...to compare or contrast the effects of censorship in modern society and how it affects society in the book ?
quote to give textual evidence of censorship in fahrenheit 451
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What about the opening line?
'It was a pleasure to burn.'
It's not a direct quote of anybody, for sure, but it sums up the essence of the book in a very graphic way. The compulsive need to contain, to dominate and even to destroy is overpowering in this book. No one (except Montag, of course) escapes from being under the influence of this expression of mass hysteria since group consciousness and individual identity are one and the same.
The association between destruction (of ideas and ideals) and gratification (of self-power and dominace over others) takes on a rather sado-maso overtone in the juxtaposition of the words 'pleasure' and burn.' Literarily speaking, this is an oxymoron - a statement (with opposites) which seems to be a contradiction at first glance but upon closer scrutiny, really isn't.
Captain Beatty states:
"We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man's mind."
An ironic statement, this is, made as it is by probably the most complex character in the novel. Beatty denounces books even as he is using his educated mind (which got that way through books) to manipulate those around him.
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