A persuasive essay advocating the reading of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, including both sides of the issue and a short biography on Ray Bradbury.
An essay containing textual examples of what caused Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” to be banned and commentary countering the reasons for this banning. The paper shows how the novel was written as a response to the cold war type atmosphere which existed in the U.S. after WWII in the 40s and 50s. The theme has been addressed through the textual evidence and the stylistic devices within them. The political aspects of the McCarthyism Era has been addressed as well.
“Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920, and moved to Tucson, Arizona, in 1926 (“Ray Bradbury’s Biography”). Later, Bradbury moved to Los Angeles and graduated from high school there in 1938; this marked the end of his formal education (“Ray Bradbury’s Biography”). Before graduating, Ray had began his writing career by “writing his own stories on butcher paper”, which showed his enthusiasm towards writing (“Ray Bradbury’s Biography”). He had his first work published in 1938, an article called “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” in a magazine (“Ray Bradbury’s Biography”). His first major novel, The Martian Chronicles, was published in 1950, and was followed by Fahrenheit 451 in 1953 (“Ray Bradbury’s Biography”). The late 40’s and early 50’s were times known as “The McCarthyism Era” because Senator Joseph McCarthy, “whose unfounded accusations of a Communist-infiltrated” government “led to the suppression of information” (Jones-Miller). He urged many people to censor or ban many so called “pro-Communism” writings; these ideas and others may have sparked Bradbury to write this novel (Jones-Miller). The McCarthyism Era was also a “time when many Americans were maliciously, and often falsely, accused of attempting to subvert the United States government”, which prompted Bradbury to write about a future with a lot censorship (“Fahrenheit 451: Ray Bradbury” 101). Also, in the early 30’s, Hitler burned books that he considered to be “anti-communism” (“Nazis”). All of these events led to the conception of this novel, but McCarthy probably played the biggest part.”