What are some examples of satire in the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury?

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It is important to note that Bradbury wrote this novel in the late 1940s and published it in 1950. World War II occurred from 1939 to 1945. Censorship was a huge factor in the Nazi program. Hitler's regime operated by spreading propaganda and censoring anything that threatened the Nazi ideology....

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It is important to note that Bradbury wrote this novel in the late 1940s and published it in 1950. World War II occurred from 1939 to 1945. Censorship was a huge factor in the Nazi program. Hitler's regime operated by spreading propaganda and censoring anything that threatened the Nazi ideology. This included burning books and indoctrinating children at a young age (radicalizing). Likewise, Stalin's program in the Soviet Union utilized propaganda to garner or demand public support for the government's brand of communism.

Bradbury was certainly aware of this kind of tyranny. In the wake of World War II, the United States government began their own brand of censorship. It was a program that accused United States citizens of having communist sympathies. This era in our history is known as McCarthyism, so named for Joseph McCarthy, a US senator who was one of the main players in the campaign to rid America of all things communist. This process singled out citizens and led to the blacklisting of many writers, actors, and filmmakers. McCarthy was also involved in a committee that banned certain books in the overseas library program, and some of these libraries actually burned the forbidden books.

This kind of censorship in post-World War II America was eerily similar to that used by the Nazis and the Soviet Union. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury satirizes this rampant censorship, and this is the central theme in the novel: free speech and thought vs. censorship. In the book, Beatty's argument is that ignorance is bliss. The less people know, the happier they will be. With fewer ideas and perspectives to consider, everyone begins to think the same way, and this leads to peace. This is what Bradbury is satirizing: the notion that ignorance is bliss and that tyranny is justified by this widespread program of cultural mind control. The parlour walls play a role in this widespread pacification by keeping everyone preoccupied with their "screens." In hindsight, this seems particularly prescient.

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Satire uses exaggeration, ridicule, and humor to point out social or political problems. It often uses irony, which typically says the opposite of what is meant.

In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury uses satire to critique a post-World War II American society that he believed had become dumbed down and cut off from community and nature by an obsessive reliance on technology. In the novel, books are banned and mindless television watching exalted.

Bradbury satirizes this culture by having Clarisse and her family considered odd and deviant for taking walks outdoors to experience nature and for preferring conversation at night to watching a view screen.

There is broadly comic satire in Montag's ignorance of history. When Clarisse asks him if it is true that firemen once put out fires instead of starting them to burn books, he denies this.

There is dark satire in Mildred's addiction to television watching, which cuts her off from a meaningful relationship with her husband and alienates her from herself to the point that she attempts suicide. The "friends" she makes in television characters satirize American's growing reliance on television shows in the 1950s.

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Throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury satirizes society by exaggerating, ridiculing, and criticizing various aspects of American culture. Bradbury satirizes society's fascination with entertainment through Mildred's obsession with her 'parlor walls.' At the beginning of the novel, she argues with Montag about buying a fourth 'parlor wall.' She says,

If we had a fourth wall, why it'd be just like this room wasn't ours at all, but all kinds of exotic people's rooms. We could do without a few things (Bradbury 18).

Bradbury also satirizes America's education system and society's infatuation with sports. When Clarisse discusses a typical day at school with Montag, she describes it as

An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher (Bradbury 27).

When Montag seeks Faber's advice about how to understand the texts he has been reading, Faber notices Montag has brought a Bible with him. Faber takes the Bible and begins to flip through its pages. He says,

It's as good as I remember. Lord, how they've changed it in our 'parlors' these days. Christ is one of the 'family' now. I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs (Bradbury 78).

In this conversation between Faber and Montag, Bradbury satirizes the commercialization of religion. He satirizes how American society has used sacred religious figures to market products by appealing to consumers' emotions.

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