Discuss the stands the author and characters take in "Fahrenheit 451".  List examples of the themes mentioned below.freedom of speech and the consequences of losing it the importance of...

Discuss the stands the author and characters take in "Fahrenheit 451".  List examples of the themes mentioned below.

freedom of speech and the consequences of losing it

the importance of remembering and understanding history

machines as helpers to humans, machines as hindrances or enemies.

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ray Bradbury speaks mostly through the character of Montag, but sometimes, as a means of explaining how things are and how things got to be the way they are in the society of the storym he speaks through Clarisse and through Beatty.  An example of the the importance of the freedom of speech and what happens when it's gone comes about with Clarisse.  She expresses what she thinks and feels and before the reader gets to the end of the first part, she has been killed.  Early in the second part of the novel, "The Sieve and the Sand", Montag questions why the bombers are flying overhead so much.  He asks Faber if they've forgotten that two atomic wars have been won already.  Then he says that maybe if the people read books, they won't make the "same damn insane mistakes".  That's Bradbury saying that history is important and if people don't remember it then they are doomed to repeat it.  An example of machines as helpers to humans is seen in the part where Mildred takes an overdose of pills.  The portable machine that cleanses her blood without her having to go to a hospital is a good and helpful innovation.  The clearest examples of the hindrances of mechanical innovations are seen in the wall TV's that have taken over people's lives and in the mechanical hound.   Bradbury shows us that the mindless characters like Mildred and her friends live for their TV even though what is shown is pure brainless programming.  The mechanical hound which has replaced the firehouse dalmation is sinister and clearly shows a machine as an enemy.

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Fahrenheit 451

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