Can you see some elements in the novel, which were typical for the time, when the novel was written?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 contains Ray Bradbury's observation and fear regarding the use of censorship mandated by the government. The book is reflective of the era, particularly the McCarthy hysteria, which led to individuals being accused of being Communist or Communist sympathizers in a time of Cold War with the Soviet Union.

"Senator Joseph McCarthy's hearings into the political background of artists led to the "blackballing" of several prominent Hollywood writers during the 1950s. While the Supreme Court decision allowing censorship of films was overturned in 1952, strict regulation of film content persisted into the 1960s."

Bradbury makes a commentary on the nature of the suppression of freedom and free speech in a stark and distinctive manner, creating a society where knowledge, as represented in the character of books is no longer permitted, in fact it is a world turned upside down.  Fireman no longer put out fires, but start them.

You can see in this characterization of the fireman, like a Senator or a member of Congress who is entrusted with making the laws in a government where the people are represented, instead of representing the people, these men in Congress, just like the fireman, do the exact opposite of their job, they accuse the people, using the law as a weapon to reduce the freedom of the citizen rather than protect it.

It is also drawing the reader's attention to actual events of the period.

"The book burnings of the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s had been widely shown after World War II. These book burnings became a major symbol of the repression that followed in Nazi Germany."  

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

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