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Transcript of Fahrenheit 451
Kaitlin Buoni Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc. PROPAGANDA Euphoria: The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness or using an appealing event to boost morale. It can be created by declaring a holiday, making a luxury items available or sending patriotic messages to society "People want to be happy, isn't that right? Haven't you heard that all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well aren't they? Don't we keep them moving? Don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these."
Beatty In Fahrenheit 451, the culture has replaced the thirst for intellectual gain with what people believe to cause happiness. They have removed any aspect of life that may cause conflict or discomfort, and instead watching with TV, playing sports, reading comics, and living in a fake reality is what they have all convinced themselves is what causes happiness. By creating what they believe to be a utopia, they have really done the opposite. The euphoric feeling they all claim are real still leave them feeling empty. Mildred displays this when she is found with an empty bottle of sleeping pills. She had obviously attempted suicide but when asked about it she claims that she is too happy to have done something like that. Propaganda has convinced the people that euphoria means watching television, or hanging out with people but never really saying anything meaningful is how to stay happy. This is what causes Montag to look else where to fill this void caused by euphoric propaganda. Ad Nauseam: is used to describe a situation when a higher powered being repeats the same thing over and over again to instill it into the less powerful mans head. The repetition is heard so many times over that it makes the listener sick, that’s where the nausea part comes from. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.(55) People want to be happy, isn't that right? Haven't you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren't they? Don't we keep them moving, don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these. (59) "Forget them. Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean." We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought This quote is saying the not everyone is born equal and the government and powerful influences mold the people of this dystopia into people who are all equal. People want to be happy therefor the government thinks by giving them less freedom and controlling the media and literature that it will be better for them. The people of this future world dont know better because thats all they are taught in life, listen to those who are more powerful in hopes to become and outlayer. The people of this time are taught to not look back and think only about the future. They are forced to learn that fire is a type of hero and as the books are getting burned it is for the better of the population. This quote refers to the people who stand as independents and don't want to think like everyone else does. These individuals are looked down upon in society and people are told over and over again that they are bad and should be killed by the fire. Fear: in propaganda is something that scares someone into buying a product or buying into an idea by saying something bad will happen to them. “You see? I knew it, that’s what I wanted to prove! I knew it would happen! I’ve always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings, poetry and sickness; all that mush! Now I’ve had it proved to me”. Montag reads lines out of a poem to the ladies in his living room. Mildred wants him to read these lines to attempt to show the ladies how “messed up” the information in books can really be. When he finishes reading the poem, Mrs. Phelps breaks down into tears and says, The characters in Fahrenheit 451 such as Mildred, Mrs. Phelps, and Mrs. Bowles truly believe the information in books are evil. They want nothing to do with them or anyone who reads these types of books. They are afraid of the evils these books possess. They are afraid of the intellectual information of these books. They along with the other members of this failed utopian society believe that by reading books and gaining knowledge, people will be able to control others because of what they know from reading books. “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind.” Beatty is trying to convince Montag that burning books is for the good of the utopian society. Beatty tries to explain to Montag that reading books can bring danger to ruining the utopia. He is telling Montag that it is his responsibility as a fire fighter to protect people from the loaded gun that is books. By doing this, he is providing Montag with enough information to make him fear the danger of books. “Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against” “Who knows who might be the target of a well-read man” “Everyone made equal” “We must all be alike” Beatty says these lines to Montag while he is in his living room. He is trying to explain to Montag the history of why firemen burn books. He explains to him that if people are happy in the utopian society this town is trying to create, then there wouldn’t be any problems. Beatty tells Montag that he fears those who read books because he is afraid of being insulted or humiliated by that person. That fear is what leads people to believe books are evil. Bandwagon: The basic idea in which people “follow” what is popular at that moment in time. It is human nature to want to be accepted by others which is why the Bandwagon technique is so affective. No one wants to feel left out, so if everyone is supporting a certain person/cause than so should you to be accepted. “It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure sure carried the trick, thank God! Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.” (Bradbury, p. 55). -Beatty This quote demonstrates the Bandwagon technique of propaganda because Beatty talks about how mass exploitation plays a part in how the public acts as a whole. For example, in the book the normal thing to do was always choose a comic book over a book of poetry or literature so the government took advantage of the big population that already disliked books of poetry and knowledge. The Government then began to burn the books because they thought of knowledge as power and freedom. Because most of the public already viewed the intellectual books as a negative thing the Government used that against the futuristic town of America to completely get rid of the knowledge altogether. “Mrs. Black, are you asleep in there? he thought. This isn’t good, but your husband did it to others and never asked and never wondered and never worried. And now since you’re a fireman’s wife, its your house and your turn, for all the houses your husband burned and the people he hurt without thinking.” (Bradbury, p. 123). -Montag At this point Montag has changed his view on burning books. It was his career for ten years and now after reading books with information he realizes that what he was doing was very wrong. What he says to the quiet house of the Black’s shows the Bandwagon technique because Mrs. Black was so accustomed to her husband going out and doing his job of burning books she did not even think about how his actions really affected others. When something is “the norm” it’s hard for a human being to go against it because it is human nature to want to be accepted by others. Beatty says, “The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!” (Bradbury, p. 55). He means that since there is a bigger number of people that won’t disagree to burning books, there is a lesser chance that conflict will arise when books are destroyed. The Government uses the Bandwagon technique throughout the whole story to do away with books for good because of the fear of a freedom or power that people receive from reading knowledgeable books. This practice is effective due to the fact that “because they had mass, they became simpler.” (Bradbury, p. 51). Red Herring- Presenting data or issues that, while compelling, are irrelevant to the argument at hand, and then claiming that it validates the argument. “With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.” –Captain Beatty pg 55 Beatty is saying that the success of students who competed in non-educational activities discouraged those who enjoyed learning. Eventually more people turned to sports than studying and those with intelligence became the minorities of society. “I voted last election, same as everyone, and I laid it on the line for President Noble. I think he’s one of the nicest looking men ever became president.” –Mrs. Bowles. pg 93 Mrs. Bowles and Mrs. Phelps are discussing the last presidential election. They say that President Noble was elected solely because of his good looks and the man running against him deserved to lose because he was a “homely man.” The women base their votes on shallow thoughts that have nothing to do with having such a high leadership position. Intelligence is necessary to run a country and it should not be based on the looks of a person. The End Question? Was Bradbury on to something?
Is propganda shaping a dystopia in our modern day society? In Conclusion The propaganda techniques that Bradbury used to warn his audience of the direction the society in the Fahrenheit 451 is heading is very present in today's society.
People in today's society cannot survive without technology. They feel weak and unprotected without cell phones and computers. When they are bored they will sit around and watch TV for entertainment instead of read a book.
Was Bradbury trying to warn us?
Was he correct with his predictions?