In "Fahrenheit 451" how is censorship shown?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Censorship is shown through the books that they burn. People aren't allowed to read books, and that is the most extreme form of censorship that exists.  Not only this, but people talking is looked down upon; Clarisse mentions the fact that her family talks together quite a bit, and how that is extremely rare.  In the schools, the kids are fed censorshipped and watered-down versions of reality, in order to keep them feeling like they are full of facts, when in fact they are not.  So that is another form of censorship in the novel.

Their society got to this point because people didn't want to read an entire book in order to know what it was about; so, books got shorter and shorter until they were just a line or two of plot summary.  Then, books often contained information that offended people and made them unhappy.  So, to please the masses, the books were censored; anything offensive or depressing were taken out.  Pretty soon, reading at all was a dying art, and looked down upon, and it wasn't long after that that books were forbidden and the entire fireman scheme was undertaken.

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Fahrenheit 451, censorship is shown through the fireman system, a system which prevents education and the freedom of expression by burning books. As we see clearly through the character of Faber, however, censorship is not just about the act of burning books. It is also about the decline of college admissions and a general lack of interest in education. This is a by-product of censorship, and this situation caused Faber to lose his job.

Censorship is also shown by this society's love of entertainment. The society in Fahrenheit 451 is consumed by entertainment and instant gratification; it has no need to ever regain its interest in books. In fact, people who show no interest in entertainment, like Clarisse McClellan, are ostracized and regarded as potentially dangerous. 

Censorship is, therefore, shown as a multi-faceted aspect of life in Fahrenheit 451. It is not just about book burning, it is also about the decline of education and the excessive promotion of entertainment.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Censorship is depicted by the government's fireman agency, which burns books and arrests dissidents. In Bradbury's dystopian society, knowledge is censored by making it illegal to own books or engage in intellectual pursuits. Captain Beatty explains to Montag why the government decided to censor literature by mentioning that critics' written opinions upset the majority of society, who stopped reading and educating themselves. The government then created the fireman agency to destroy the remaining books, which prevents citizens from becoming unruly and upsetting the social structure. Beatty even compares a book to a loaded gun as he presents his argument for censoring information. Censorship is portrayed as a means to ensure a stable society by creating a passive, ignorant populace. Intellectuals like Faber and Granger are forced into hiding and fear being arrested for their intellectual pursuits while the government ensures its authority by eliminating educated dissidents.