What are some quotes about censorship in Fahrenheit 451?

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"We burned a thousand books. We burned a woman.


The parlor was exploding with sound.

"We burned copies of Dante and Swift and Marcus Aurelius."

In this quote, Montag is giving an account of a book-burning raid to Mildred. For her part, Mildred isn't especially interested in the raid. However, Montag's clearly emotional words demonstrate how affected he is by his own participation in the book-burning. He is most troubled by the fact that an innocent woman died as a result of his and his colleague's actions. Montag questions why the mere fact of book ownership should consign someone to an agonizing death.

Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico . . . The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!

Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic-books survive. And the three-dimensional sex magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God.

In the two quotes above, Captain Beatty gleefully explains to Montag how the censorship of books came about. Beatty obviously supports wholesale censorship, but Montag is beginning to doubt its necessity by this point in the novel.

For his part, Beatty tries to convince Montag that their job is to make sure everyone is happy. To do so, they have to stand "against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought." Beatty supports the idea of censorship because he believes that it serves a larger purpose. To Beatty, intellectual freedom and open dialogue are less important than the conflict dissonant philosophies generate.

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