In "Fahrenheit 451" Beatty takes great pains to give reasons for burning books. What points can you make to his arguments?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One reason that they burn books is because they have content that offends the "minorities" in their civilization.  Everyone was offended by something in the books, so, burning them makes it so that people don't have to read "offensive" material.  For example, Beatty states, "Someone's written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs?  The cigarette people are weeping?  Burn the book."  So many people found something offensive that all books should just be burned so that people can be happy; and that is where the firemen come in.  And, this is true of our society. Today, books are banned from schools.  We have to be careful not to offend minority groups, and many of our laws, books, and media are centered around not offending them.

Beatty also states that their society burned books to try to make everyone equal, so as to make everyone feel better about themselves.  He states, "the word 'intellectual' became the swear word it deserved to remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally 'bright'...and wasn't it this bright boy you selected for beatings...after hours?" This happens in our society too; smart kids don't answer questions so that they aren't labelled as a suck-up, being smart is socially uncool, and the stuff we teach in schools is slowly becoming more and more basic, in order to cater to everyone.

There are other reasons that Beatty states for burning books; one is because people simply stopped reading them at all.  This was fine with their government, because books produce "two sides to a question to worry him"; Beatty says it is better to just "give him one," so burn the book and give him the information he needs.  Books "give them...slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with.  That way lies melancholy" and revolution; so burn the books.  It is true that if you stay so busy stuffing your head full of useless facts (like "remembering the words to more popular songs"), then you have little time to read or care what is going on in the world.  It's easier NOT to read or think.

Those are just some ideas to get you started.  I hope they helped!

summerr23's profile pic

summerr23 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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goodgirl...i dont get your question... why dont you make it a quetion instead of commenting... :)