Freedom of Speech and the Consequences of Losing it in ""Fahrenheit 451?What is the author trying to say about freedom of speech and the consequences of losing it in Fahrenheit 451?

8 Answers | Add Yours

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with #3, but without getting too political here, I think Bradbury's warning is clever, and was written at a time when free speech and free association were indeed threatened--1950s America.  The country was in the height of McCarthyist anti-communist hysteria, with televised Senate hearings and more than 15,000 careers destroyed by mere accusations.  I don't think it was too difficult to see, at that time, what the consequences of the loss of free speech or unchallenged government authority would be.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Bush-Cheney didn't kill anyone for speaking his own mind...not like Clarisse was and Montag would've been had he been caught.  The very fact that we can write this proves it.  Ray Bradbury's novel is more communistic than democratic.  While all governments cover things up from time to time, the Bush-Cheney admin never kept anyone from standing up and disagreeing with them in public or private.

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

"Those who continue to talk about how things used to be, how things should be now, and what should be done about it...Clarisse, Montag...are hunted down in an effort to dispose of the opposition.  Conflict is swiftly squashed.  A select few control everything and everyone else...sound like any Democratic government you've ever studied? "

Uhhh...yeah.  Bush-Cheney.  2000-2008. 

 

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

What do you think?  The story line is that books are burned by firemen whose primary job used to be saving people's property.  Neighbors and family members turn in those who own books.  Mechanical dogs sniff around to find the banned books in private homes and hiding places so that they can be burned and forever lost.  Former professors and scholars meet and commune outside of cities and are given the awesome responsibility of memorizing and remembering whole passages and in some cases entire books so that when the time passes that books are banned, they can once again be put down on paper for all to study and read.  People rely on TV for entertainment--allowing others to come into their homes and tell them what to think or how to act--there is no original thinking allowed or encouraged.  Those who continue to talk about how things used to be, how things should be now, and what should be done about it...Clarisse, Montag...are hunted down in an effort to dispose of the opposition.  Conflict is swiftly squashed.  A select few control everything and everyone else...sound like any Democratic government you've ever studied?  Would you like to live like this?

Knowing this, what do you think Ray Bradbury is trying to tell us about our right of freedom of speech?  What are the consequences for losing it?  To what extent should we go to preserve this right? 

Consider these words, and come to your own conclusions.

kahnoor's profile pic

kahnoor | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In reply to everyone.. You're not helping with the question. If you're just going to banter on about stuff that isn't even related to the book, then stay off. Some of us need help.

clovenrick's profile pic

clovenrick | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

In reply to all. Why do you use the United States as an example of government censorship? Lenin's Russia, Hitlers Germany, Stalin's USSR, Mao's China, Pol pot's Cambodia, North Korea, Vietnam etc, etc have all burned books and baned the teaching of other political systems. Gulags, reeducation camps, cultural revolution the killing fields, purges, genocide, how dare you hold up the USA as an example of abhorrent government behavior.

With teachers like some of you it's no wonder we rank 20Th in the world for literacy, somewher behind Tonga.

clovenrick's profile pic

clovenrick | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I agree with #3, but without getting too political here, I think Bradbury's warning is clever, and was written at a time when free speech and free association were indeed threatened--1950s America.  The country was in the height of McCarthyist anti-communist hysteria, with televised Senate hearings and more than 15,000 careers destroyed by mere accusations.  I don't think it was too difficult to see, at that time, what the consequences of the loss of free speech or unchallenged government authority would be.

  and if you agree with #3 your scary too.

It has been a pleasure countering the liberalism being foisted upon my children at school. Dad 2 teachers 0.

Actually the count is much higher because I have infected my children's friends as well and once caught, capitalism, unlike liberalism, is incurable.

clovenrick's profile pic

clovenrick | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

"Those who continue to talk about how things used to be, how things should be now, and what should be done about it...Clarisse, Montag...are hunted down in an effort to dispose of the opposition.  Conflict is swiftly squashed.  A select few control everything and everyone else...sound like any Democratic government you've ever studied? "

Uhhh...yeah.  Bush-Cheney.  2000-2008. 

 

Other then throwing around liberal tripe perhaps you could give an example of what you are babbling about. Maybe one example of an assassination, jailing or censoring of a liberal columnist, author, documentary maker, politician etc. If this were fact, I wish Bush had used his evil powers to rid us of Michel Moore.

The scary thing is, your a teacher or should I say propagandist.

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question