In Fahrenheit 451, how does Beatty explain society's change to mass culture?  

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Captain Beatty offers his theories of the negative effects of books as part of his justification for his dedication to destroying them. His reasoning is circular in that he seems to regard the general population as both the instigators and the victims of the processes underway. People are lazy and in a rush so they want to lead less not more. Even a few words are too demanding, so people prefer images.

There is some confusion to his explanation, however, as he attempts to explain consumption without accounting for the economic benefits of production to those who make and sell the products. He claims both that people don't want to be upset and that they must be prevented from reading anything that might upset them. Beatty avoids explaining how the makers and sellers of popular culture profit from the endlessly changing demand for novelty. His explanation carefully avoids the harsh reality of censorship and absence of civil rights that supports this tightly controlled mass cultural...

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