What was Bradbury's intent in writing Fahrenheit 451?

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

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Most interpretations of Fahrenheit 451 focus on aspects of government control and censorship, but Bradbury was more interested in writing about the decline of books and knowledge in favor of television and its often shallow programming. Bradbury often mentioned a story in his own life, when he witnessed a couple walking; the woman wore headphones, listening to a radio, and paid no attention to the world around her or even to her husband. It was this sort of alienation that Bradbury satirizes in the book; people have almost no concept of their own individuality or of differing opinions. Television tells them what to think, and they repeat these opinions without ever questioning them. This sort of behavior is common today, as people trust what they see without doing their own research; one main objective of Fahrenheit 451 was to get people reading different materials, challenging their preconceived notions, and questioning what is presented as fact on television.

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