Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Lowry’s The Giver

Progression is a fundamental element of human society. When a story makes the bold statement that we are on our way to complete chaos and dystopia, our first instinct should be to look inward, upon ourselves, and observe whether or not our basic human progression is leading us to a reality where these stories are much more than just fiction. People are choosing to be ignorant of topics they know nothing about. They are trying to remove conflict from our society in an attempt to make sure nobody gets hurt.

We, as a collective whole, have even began to cut unpleasant or undesirable experiences from our lives. Stories, such as Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or Lowry’s The Giver, tell us to look deep inside of ourselves to see where the trail we walk upon might lead us.

The aforementioned stories are wonderful examples of a society built on the foundation of ignorance. The Giver shows us a world where people are ignorant of colour, emotions, even death.

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They removed all of these things from their lives. They willingly became ignorant so some future generation could live comfortably without the notion that such things once existed. Fahrenheit 451, however, relates much more to our own society. The people in this story, unlike those previously mentioned, are in the process of creating a world without knowledge. Art, poetry, and literature are destroyed to keep the population ignorant. Such things allow people to think, and therefore, allows them to disagree. When we reflect on these societies, we can recognize a few shortcomings in our own.

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Most schools destroy the passions of their students before they are even allowed to discover them. We, as a society, make them distasteful of literature, art, and poetry and then we have the audacity to question why so many men and women are growing up barely able to read. When something is forced upon someone it makes them unwilling to care about it. Literature is thrown at us from a very young age so of course we would choose to no longer see it as a relaxing pastime but instead a dull way to waste a few hours. Much like how the society presented in Fahrenheit 451 seems to be on its way to the one shown in The Giver, we are sowing the seeds of ignorance.

Of course without ignorance there is conflict. What person does not dream of a world where there is no war, fighting, or petty disagreements? Without conflict the world would be a very different place. However, it might not be an improvement from where we stand today. The Giver is a very good example of a world where no one disagrees. There is no racism, no sexism, no conflicting religious beliefs, people are treated fairly and equally regardless of their social status. It is not a perfect society. The previously mentioned wars, fights, and arguments are what build us as people. We would never grow and change if someone somewhere along the way did not challenge our ideas. Conflict makes us stronger, it motivates us to look at the world from a new perspective. We should not actively seek out conflict but we should not run when faced with it. When everybody agrees, there is no conflict, but only when nobody is willing to challenge anyone else’s beliefs, there is a problem.

Conflict and ignorance are two very important supposed antagonists in our modern world, as previously discussed. However, there is one that often goes unnoticed. Pain, on the surface, seems like an evil that can and should be removed. Physical pain, grief, desire, loneliness, regret, and all of its other names, all hold a fairly negative connotation within us. Imagine a world where there is no pain. Very prevalent in Fahrenheit 451 are people who feel nothing when a friend or loved one dies. People who cannot and will not feel boredom. People who do not learn. They removed anything that did not give them satisfaction. The people suffered because of this. Pain is not an antagonist. We learn, not from those experiences we enjoy, but from those most unpleasant.

When a story makes a statement as bold as these two and many other have, that the world is on the brink of destruction, we are inclined to look inside of ourselves and pick out everything the even remotely confirms that statement. We see these outcomes as inevitable. Some of us, those who want to be ignorant and happy all of them time, welcome it. The truth is, we still have time to figure things out. We might be walking along the road that leads to our demise but we can still turn in another direction. This century will be very important as it will likely decide our future. We began the last on not knowing how to fly and just over halfway through we landed on the moon. Imaging if this one is as eventful. Imagine what impossible things we can come to understand. The deciding question before us is: Will we embrace what comforts us, or that which we learn from?

Nobody else will answer this for us, it is yet another impossible thing we must conquer ourselves, only if we decide to answer.

Updated: Nov 16, 2022
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Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Lowry’s The Giver. (2021, Dec 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/ray-bradbury-s-fahrenheit-451-and-lowry-s-the-giver-essay

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Lowry’s The Giver essay
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