When books and new ideas are available to people, conflict and unhappiness occur. Without ideas, everyone conforms, and as a result, everyone should be happy. This is the basic premise behind the story underlined in the novel Fahrenheit 451. It is, by all intents and purposes, a novel which takes place in a dystopian future; however, the message it imparts should not be ignored, considering our current lifestyle.
At first glance, it can be assumed that the story revolves simply around a government imposed censorship: how the firemen burn books by order of the ruling regime in order to prevent citizens from thinking too much and thus complaining or getting involved in certain affairs, effectively revoking whatever say they may have related to certain subjects, such as the imminent war which in the end ends up destroying Guy Montag’s city. Nevertheless, some questions come to mind: Is this merely a book about how dangerous government imposed censorship can turn out out be? Who is the real culprit behind this so called censorship? Is it really the government? Or is it the people, the citizens themselves, who brought it upon themselves and therefore endure it? And, if it’s the people, can it really be called “censorship”? Or is it just plain and simple conformism? Can conformism really turn out to be all that perilous?
In order to answer these questions, it is important to note that the characters in the world of Fahrenheit 451 do not live under a dictatorship, but under democratic rule. We can appreciate this under this dialog:
Millie: "Let's talk politics, to please Guy!"
Mrs. Bowles: "Sounds fine," said Mrs. Bowles. "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 who ever became president."
Thus, presidents are elected by the people, taking into account the majority of votes cast, as in any democratic government. It can be argued, then, that it was not under coercion...