Fahrenheit 451: Analyzing the Use and Relevance Of Censorship and Government Surveillance

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Did you know that in North Korea the government has eyes and ears everywhere and knows where every citizen is at any moment. Sounds crazy right? Well it is true, they also control virtually every aspect of a person’s life. For example, they censor out all the news and media from outside the country.

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This is almost identical to the world in the classic novel, Fahrenheit 451. The book takes place in an unnamed city in the United States. It centers around Guy Montag, the protagonist that lives in a world where books are illegal due to their ability to make people think about life and the world around them. Montag is a firefighter whose job is to burn outlawed books. The themes of government surveillance and censorship are the two most relevant in the story because they are mentioned, hinted at, and developed from beginning to end.

As the novel begins, the reader notices how many things are censored from the people. For instance, within the first eight pages it is heard, Don’t you ever read any of the books you burn? That’s against the law! (Bradbury 8). This shows that people are not allowed to own or even read books even though they know how to read. The government and all the higher ups do not want people to have their own true beliefs and opinions because this can cause people to rebel and disrupt the peace. The government in this universe is more of a totalitarian structure because they want the people to be under control and not try any form of rebellion/unhappiness.

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