The Issue of Censorship in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Censorship is something that is a huge deal in society today, everyone rambles on about freedom of speech vs. infringement of others rights However, as a society, the censorship of any material is both unjust and counterproductive if we want a more informed future, In 451, Bradbury shows how the censorship of material has lead to a culture of zombified sloths getting all their nutrients from a television While some of the ideas, like the burning of literature, may seem farfetched, it happens in everyday life without us even realizing it. School Districts have lists of books that are banned so that they don’t have to here complaints of some parents about how they conflict with their beliefs. One school district, during this time, was even burning copies of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Fiver All of this worrying of trying to please every minority that gets offended has lead to our generation being so soft skinned, that we can’t even take criticism, If we continue to censor as we have been, we will not be to far off from the future that Bradbury has warned us off Kurt Vonnegut wrote a letter to the school district that was throwing his books into an incinerator.
He tells the Director of the school district that he is insulted by the fact that they have gone so far as to have his books burned, He is most offended by the fact that the Chairman hasn’t even read his books, and yet he is deciding that they should be lit “If you would bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are.” Kurt asks at the very end of the paragraph something that ninety percent of the world no longer does, He asks the school board to keep an open mind, to, “Expose your children to all sorts of opinions and information” This is a lesson that people have been forgetting often in our day and age, People fight tooth and Nail on one side of the fence when they haven’t even examined the opposite side.
Today Politicians tell more blatant lies then ever, and politicians are also more afraid to work outside their own parties, lest they not be re- elected. Kurt warned us of this when he asked the school board to keep an open mind, but now it seems as if the whole world has theirs shut. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury explains perfectly why censorship is negatively affecting the world The Character Mildred, who is the main characters wife, sits in front of the TV, all day watching shows where the characters interact with her like Dora the Explorer does with children, they broadcast no important news, nothing educational, just sitcoms that the people of the world have become so immersed in they call the characters family members. Mildred has no drive to be anything more than this vegetable that sits in front of the TV, all day, She’s not dumb; she is a victim of the culture of the world. If Mildred did not have her face plastered to a screen 24/7, she might have even been able to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a poet. However, that’s not what society rewarded, society rewarded below-average IQ citizens whose only job was to not think.
Bradbury also covers why censorship is happening, people are to soft skinned, to easily offended by opinions. That is why books are made illegal in the story in the first place, as Captain Beatty says, “Let’s take up the minorities in our civilization The bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of Dog lovers, cat lovers doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons etc. ”Technology, mass exploitation and minority pressure did the trick.” (Bradbury 61) That‘s why the books stopped selling in the fictional world, because people stopped having opinions out of fear and so books just became vanillat There is a poem by William Stafford titled Burning a Book. In the poem, he says the only thing worse than a burned book is a thought that has not been written, “More disturbing than book ashes are whole libraries that no one got around to writing.” He says here that if people aren’t willing to share their opinions than nothing will change Fahrenheit definitely has some real world context, while we aren‘t as extreme with censorship; it still does exist throughout the world, and just like in Fahrenheit the government is not even needed to regulate it.
More people watch “Say yes to the dress” and “Here comes Honey BooBoo Child” than any of the news networkst People are happy with being ignorant to the world around them and from that point on it’s a vicious cycle of uneducated people reacting and making it so that nothing can get done A perfect example in current events is the riots caused by the Innocence of Muslims short film. Many of the rioters have not seen the film, and are only reacting because the government or another group of people told them that “The U5, published a film disgracing Mohammad!” Really of these people would view the film they would see It The US didn’t make the movie, a single guy did, 2‘ The acting and the effects are worse than a 10 year olds film he made for class, and 3. The movie doesn’t say anything extremely outrageous besides portraying Mohammad as a fool.
However, either because of the government blocking it orjust the not willingness of the rioters to view the film, they believe to be the biggest piece of Sacrilege out there, and yet they haven’t even seen it. Just like with Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. Censorship, in this day and age, can only lead to counter-productiveness. The willingness of people to not even want to know both sides of the story has held the world back for far too long. Only with the free flow of information and the consent of people who wish to learn and better the world will we succeed as a species, The world needs to turn off their screens, splash out the fires, and with enthusiasm read the whole story, and notjust the half they like.