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The novel Fahrenheit 451, written in 1953, takes place in a society that is a dystopia. A dystopia is a society that believes it is a utopia (perfect) and is doing the right thing, but in reality, is dysfunctional and often takes away peoples' rights. Bradbury wrote this novel about America in the future in reaction to the anti-communist McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. Often writers, directors, and artists were brought before the McCarthy hearings and accused of being communists. Bradbury was concerned about the possible censorship that could follow these hearings. Many people were "black balled" and never regained their artistic status after the accusations. Bradbury was also concerned about the possibility that books would be burned in reaction to this dark time of fear and paranoia.
Many of the predictions Bradbury makes in the book have come true. These include our obsession with being politically correct, as well as technology that keeps us "controlled" and "happy."
Although no particular site is given, it can be assumed that Bradbury implies that this could be the future for America if we give away our freedoms and rights.
Definition of dystopia from dictionary.reference.com
A society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
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