What Is the Theme of “Fahrenheit 451”?
The main theme of Ray Bradbury’s “Farenheit 451” is the danger of censorship. The book is set in the 24th century and the media has control over the masses. Individualism is not allowed and intellectuals are outlaws. Books are banned because reading encourages thinking.
In “Farenheit 451,” firefighters burn books to help prevent people from questioning the condition of the world and leadership. Conformity is encouraged. The thought is that through conformity, happiness can be achieved. The knowledge that is contained within the books is thought to lead to unhappiness, envy, and feelings of inferiority. In the book, Bradbury speaks of special-interest groups and minorities who take offense at things that are found in books, which plays a role in censorship. The author never identifies which racial group is considered the minority and leaves it to the reader to infer from his words the group of which he is speaking.
Another theme present in the book is the struggle between knowledge and ignorance. In an effort to normalize the population or ensure that everyone is conforming, knowledge is destroyed while ignorance is encouraged. The main character’s quest for knowledge leads to him challenging the beliefs of a society that encourages ignorance.