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Censorship is the prevention of a type of media believed to be hazardous or reprehensible. It has existed for an excessive amount of time. One of the first recorded incidents was in China the year 213 BCE when Emperor Qin Shi Huang and Minister Li Si ordered that a substantial amount of philosophy and history books must be burned. He wanted his citizens to believe that his reign began the world, ruining Chinese culture as it took centuries for the Chinese to regain the remnants of who they were. This relates deeply with the novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451 is about a firefighter named Montag, who is from in a dismal future world. In this place firefighters do not put out fires, they do the opposite in fact. Firefighters burn houses down that have any sign of a book. They are a special force for that very purpose, because to own a book is against the law in this future society. In the story’s plot it is during the firefighters call to go to a woman’s house and burn all of the books she had been hoarding. The woman in the house proceeds to kill herself as a way of dying with her novels, much to Montag’s resentment. Montag, his curiosity getting the better of him proceeds to steal a book from the woman’s home. Montag for a while had been feeling unhappy life as well as his very one-dimensional wife. He had learned from a young girl named Clarisse of the wonders of nature and life around instead of what was on a TV screen or any other distraction brought upon by technology. Montag proceeds to read the stolen book to his wife, who was not impressed by it or any literature. Too curious for his own good, Montag finds an old retired professor by the name of Faber to get insight on what he is attempting to read. As this continues Beatty, Montag’s boss becomes suspicious of his co-workers behavior. He finds out Montag’s secret and coerces him followed by telling him that in their world literature has no place. His wife Mildred calls the fire department to her own house, betraying her husband, and Montag is forced to destroy his own house. But he then proceeds to burn Beatty with it. He runs to Faber’s home where Faber proceeds to inform of intellectual travelers outside of their dystopian city. Montag, now a criminal, escapes to the forest by the river and finds them. He meets their leader Granger who teaches him how to memorize books word for word. A nuclear bomb from from an outside place wipes out the city. In the end, Montag makes his way towards city to use his knowledge to rebuild a new, literate civilization. In this novel, Ray Bradbury uses censorship through the citizens lack of knowledge, the overuse of technology and the laws put into place by the government.The banishment of books diminishes the knowledge of citizens and produces an ignorant society such as that in the city of this novel. Knowledge is key to proper thought. It is what gives us a lack of ignorance. It helps us to be analytical and look between the lines. But when there is no proper way of learning such things such as that of what you would learn reading a piece of literature, the part of the brain that comprehends proper thought and logic has but only minimal use.”We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind.” (Beatty, Part One, page 58)In this quote Beatty explains that everyone must be the same; they must be equal. Literature is a threat towards this as it gives people a broader range of thought. So when there is such a threat, they must break that person’s mind. Beatty is a character that epitomizes the censorship of knowledge. He is the captain of the firemen making him in charge of burning knowledge to uphold the city’s mindset of ignorance. The more people see what the punishment is when hoarding books, the more they refuse to read, further instigating the ignorance of knowledge in society. An ignorant civilization is easy to control. But the citizens in this society do not have a need for books even if they had the choice to read, at least that is their mindset for the most part. With the constant usage of technology, the citizens of this civilization do not have a need for literature, but this addiction to technology makes it very easy for their government to have control over their actions and emotions. For them it is a tool of manipulation. In their futuristic world no one necessarily has be productive as they have such advanced technology. They also lack any sort of deep communication as they are so indulged with the technology they use. This is to the governments advantage in regards to the fact that people lack emotion or any cares as they have been so influenced by technology that real emotion doesn’t need to exist. And without emotion there is no care to break the law or have the urge to read. “‘Will you turn the parlour off?’ he asked. ‘That’s my family.'” (Montag and Mildred, Part One, Pages 48 – 49)In this quote Mildred is the evidence that people in this society are more connected to the advanced technology in their dystopian world than with the life and people around them. Therefore, the technology provided by the government as way of reliability for their city is censorship through mind control and manipulation. Little to no proper emotion means no desire to break the law or become a threat to their crooked system.

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