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My Favorite Book: "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury made me realize the importance of having self conviction



Joined: 11/11/2012
Posts: 2
sydneydong
During a time of mass repression, the will of the individual is tested and often falters under the constraints of society’s ideal. Fireman Guy Montag encounters a young but wise girl that changes his perspective and makes him question the exact purpose of his job. He is a fireman, who in this particular futuristic time, ironically starts fires instead of extinguishing them, solely for the purpose of burning books. Although this situation seems unrealistic, the novel’s underlying theme of conformity inherent in society is timeless. Many characters, whether literary or real, have let the fixed beliefs of the majority govern over their decisions. The masses conform to what society perceives is right, and as a consequence, neglect their innate abilities of self thought. Even if the belief majority withholds is morally wrong, many people make the conscious decision to believe it anyways because it is the easy alternative.

The society in which Montag lives in tries to suppress knowledge in order to promote equality and encourage ignorance because they are told to do so by the media. Instead, people spend their superficial days entertained by technology, not once thinking for themselves or participating in anything meaningful. Montag, however, succumbs to the temptation of reading, and his newfound insight only ignites his curiosity. His enlightenment evokes emotions from within as he contemplates the consequences of his new discovery. Society condemns him for his admitted heresy, and even though his courageous act turns him into a wanted man, not once does Montag repent or recant his actions. He has faith in his own beliefs, and his conviction ultimately progresses to self improvement and discovery.

This book has impacted my perspective on the whole concept of individuality versus conformity itself. Before, I already knew that the individual should triumph over the majority regardless, but I did not look past the seemingly superficiality of this clichéd statement to truly understand it. In comparison, the futuristic Elms City and the society of today’s time do not differ as much as some may think. Mass censorship, propaganda, and oppression have stunted the individual spirit in many instances throughout history. It is very common for people to not follow through with their intuitions if they contradict the fixed beliefs of society, but as these people strive for acceptance from their peers, individuality is lost. The integrity of one’s self is compromised, and one’s mind is molded to represent what society deems is “right”. Montag is the heroic nonconformist because he is fully aware of the consequences, due to his occupation, but he still fights for what he believes in despite others’ disapproval. This novel has further instilled the theme of having faith in the individual into my mind and has shown me the importance of just being oneself and having conviction in one’s ideals. Had I remain constantly concerned with being accepted by others, I would not have pursued my interests and goals wholeheartedly that have truly made me, me.
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Comment by yiyijessicali


Joined: 8/22/2011
Posts: 53
Wonderfully written. You've captured the essence of post-modernism.
Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012 2:06:12 AM
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