By Ray Bradbury "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.“ Ray BRADBURY Fahrenheit 451 The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns… Ray Bradbury Who? Born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. His family moved frequently when he was young, but they finally settled in Los Angeles (1934). As a young boy, Bradbury was interested in magic and had aspirations of becoming a magician. This interest in magic later turned into a love for writing. Began writing stories at age eleven. He received no formal education beyond high school (1938). His Work Weird Tales, a famous pulp science fiction (1940). The Martian Chronicles, launched his writing career (1950). Most famous to date is Fahrenheit 451 (1953) Pub. over 500 short stories, novels, plays, and poems in his career His Work… wrote for Alfred Hitchcock Presents & The Twilight Zone, & the screenplay for John Huston‟s Moby Dick helped design Spaceship Earth ride for Disney World‟s EPCOT Center Bradbury’s Writing Style science fiction writer fiction based on: scientific discoveries, space travel, time travel, alien existence or great environmental changes often deals with the future lives of humans and events that did not happen or have not happened yet. often takes into consideration how these events may have consequences on the human race The Beginning It began as story about a fireman, GUY MONTAG in a short story “The Fireman” 1953 expanded into the novel Classified as science fiction But it is SO MUCH MORE A criticism Personal Public Personal Criticism To protest what Bradbury believed to be the invasiveness of editors Editors had strict control of books printed Bradbury felt it impaired originality and creativity of writers Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. Mary Lou Cook Social Criticism Warns against the danger of suppressing thought through censorship Oppressive government, left unchecked, can do irreparable damage to a society by limiting creativity of its people “dystopia” – order and harmony at the expense of individual rights “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” Juan Ramon Jimenez Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work Fahrenheit 451 Themes Knowledge versus Ignorance • Destroy knowledge to promote ignorance • Search for knowledge destroys ignorance Conformity versus Individuality • Conforming to the norms of our society • What are the norms of our society? • Does it endanger society‟s well-being? • Does it help our society? Censorship… Censorship A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material & to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable. An official, as in the armed forces, who examines personal mail and official dispatches to remove information considered secret or a risk to security. One that condemns or censures. Time of the novel censorship Fahrenheit 451 released in 1953 Senator Joseph McCarthy Leading witch hunt to find suspected Communist sympathizers in gov‟t, writers, moviemakers, and performers Most findings unfounded Ruined careers of many people because of link with Communism “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller McCarthyism Red Channels; A 1950 publication documenting "Communist influence in radio and television" Herblock coined the term "McCarthyism" in this cartoon in the March 29, 1950 Washington Post A Few of the Accused Leonard Bernstein, composer & conductor Charlie Chaplin, actor Bartley Crum, attorney W.E.B. DuBois, civil rights activist & author Langston Hughes, author Arthur Miller, playwright and essayist Clifford Odets, author J. Robert Oppenheimer, physicist, "father of the atomic bomb“ More Accused Paul Robeson, actor, athlete, singer, author, political & civil rights activist Edward G. Robinson, actor Waldo Salt, author Pete Seeger, folk singer Artie Shaw, jazz musician Howard Da Silva, actor Paul Sweezy, economist & founder-editor of Monthly Review Tsien Hsue-shen, physicist Orson Welles, actor, author & director Let us Travel back in history… to censorship The great eventful Present hides the Past; but through the din of its loud life, hints and echoes from the life behind, steal in. ~John Greenleaf Whittier People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them. ~James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son In "The Book of Abraham", "written by Himself", published in Boston - for the purchaser- in 1846, the following woodcut is used as a frontispiece Europe had a solution for the menacing spread of knowledge as depicted in the engravings below: . . A 16th century wood block by Jost Amman Burned at the stake Ridley & Latimer: October 16, 1555 Latimer, who lived and died unmarried, eased out of this world. But it was not so with his friend Nicholas Ridley. The [wood] being piled too high, he screamed for his bystanders to pull off some of the wood. Misunderstanding him, his brother-in-law, added more sticks to the fire. The fire "burned clean all his nether parts, before it once touched the upper; and that made him often desire them to let the fire come unto him". He exclaimed, „I cannot burn!‟. When he turned to his watchers, they saw a ghastly sight. "After his legs were consumed he showed that side towards us clean, shirt and all untouched with flame". Finally, a bystander pulled the [wood] from the fire, and the fire flamed to his face, igniting the gunpowder. And he stirred no more. And as hundreds of bystanders looked on at these two motionless bodies, all that could be heard was weeping. NEW YORK v. JOHN PETER ZENGER (1735) •“the freshest advises, foreign and domestic” •1st pub. 1733 •Zenger criticized the government •Related news about the colonies "The greater the truth, the greater the libel." John Peter Zenger was arrested and charged with seditious libel -- an English law prohibiting the publishing of statements intended to bring into contempt or excite dissatisfaction against the government. Any published criticism of the government, even if true The problem confronting Zenger was that the truth was no defense to libel at that time Andrew Hamilton was Peter‟s lawyer Hamilton said to the court… “Men who injure and oppress the people under their administration provoke them to cry out and complain; and then make that very complaint the foundation for new oppressions and prosecutions. “ “by an impartial and uncorrupt verdict, have laid a noble foundation for securing to ourselves, our posterity, and our neighbors that to which nature and the laws of our country have given us a right - - and liberty -- both of exposing and opposing arbitrary power ... by speaking and writing truth....” Despite clear instructions from the judge to the contrary, the jury found Zenger innocent of all charges. This case was instrumental in establishing the framework for the American concept, Freedom of the Press. An 18th century frontispiece for a French religious work An 18th century French etching Nazi Book Burning May 10, 1933 Nazi Germany and the book burning One way the Nazis cleansed the country of "un- German" thoughts was through censorship. A "brown shirt" (member of the SA) throws some more fuel--"un-German" books-- into a roaring fire on the Opernplatz in Berlin. May 10, 1933. In Berlin 20,000 books were burned during a student rally The suppression of free speech and ideas was a tactic of Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda. Target this time was anti-Nazi, Jewish- authored, and so-called "degenerate" books, but it would escalate… "Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings." Heinrich Heine Someone must read a book to say that it is dangerous…yes? Where do we see censorship in our own lives? Let us refresh our memory on the themes before we progress to motifs Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work Fahrenheit 451 Themes Knowledge versus Ignorance • Destroy knowledge to promote ignorance • Search for knowledge destroys ignorance Conformity versus Individuality • Conforming to the norms of our society • What are the norms of our society? • Does it endanger society‟s well-being? • Does it help our society? Censorship… Motifs Recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devises that can help to develop and add to the text‟s major themes Fahrenheit 451 Motifs Paradoxes For ex: “I am not really here” – to be physically in a space, but, emotionally you are somewhere else For ex: to be living, but, at the same time, be spiritually dead Animal and Nature Imagery Nature: force of innocence and truth Animal: ironic (society ignores nature, but perpetuates devises modeled after animals) Motifs continued Religion Enameled faces of statues compared to permanent smiles of firemen Christian value of forgiveness Ref: miracle of Canaa – Christ turned water into wine (one of miracles to try and prove his identity) Fire (Christian beliefs) – “pagan,” “divine presence” In 451: starts out as the vehicle of a restrictive society Then it is turned on the oppressor Symbols Objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concept Fahrenheit 451 Symbols Blood Symbol of human beings repressed soul or primal, instinctive self The snake machine “The Hearth and the Salamander” Hearth (fireplace, heats the home) – symbolizes home Salamander (official symbol of firemen) Ancient beliefs that it lives in fire & is unaffected by flames fire Symbols continued “The Sieve and the Sand” (recollection of a memory as a child at the beach) Sand – tangible truth Montag seeks Sieve – human mind seeking truth that remains allusive (not able to grasp in any permanent way) The Phoenix (rebirth) Mankind burns itself up & then rises out of the ashes again & again Cyclical nature of history Montag‟s spiritual resurrection Symbols continued Mirrors Self-understanding Seeing oneself clearly The Characters Guy Montag – protagonist, 30 yrs old fireman who makes his living by burning books & the houses where the books are kept illegally. Experiences a drastic change in the novel Mildred Montag – married to Montag for 10 yrs, epitomizes shallowness and complacentness of society Clarrise McClellan – 17 yr. old girl; Montag is drawn to her, opposite of Millie; embodies what is positive about the human spirit More Characters Captain Beatty – antagonist; head of the Fire Dpt. whose sole purpose is to destroy books; “big brother” character Professor Faber – aging intellectual in a world where seems no place for him, disapproves of society but lacks courage; gives Montag inspiration Granger – intellectual & former author; leader of group of hobos; takes Montag under his wing. More Characters Mechanical Hound – terrible “triumph” of modern technology; programmed to track down and destroy any victim that his sensors are set to Mrs.Phelps & Mrs.Bowles – Millie‟s friends; just as ignorant and silly as she is By Ray Bradbury The adventure begins!