Fahrenheit 911 and 451: AppropriationHow does Fahrenheit 911 by Michael Moore appropriate the much loved classical dystopic novel Fahrenheit 451? What values are evident?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Michael Moore's film modernizes several of Bradbury's themes in relation to American political society after the 2000 Presidential Election.  The focus of the film is one of hopeful transformation on the part of the American Citizenry.  Moore seeks to create a realm where individuals evolve to becoming more active participants in the direction of public policy.  Similar to Montag who undergoes a transformation from a civil servant who does not question to an individual who becomes actively involved in the act of resistance to an unjust political authority, whose exercise in power is one of abuse, Moore hopes to convince Americans that questioning the decisions and implications of policy is not only essential to American democracy, but critical to the life and well-being of its citizens.  In Moore's film, the resulting actions of September 11- the war in Iraq- is one fraught with fraudulence.  This parallels Captain Beatty's fraudulent war on books and knowledge.  In both worlds, the creation of political falsehoods to consolidate power and authority are elements that the artists seek to uncover and destabilize.