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Ethan Trott

Mrs. Cramer
Comp I Pd. 4
29 October 2015
Fahrenheit 451 or Celsius 232.7?
"Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge." (p.87) This
quote from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953) along with the general theme, which could be
interpreted as a movement against government censorship, might be apparent or relatable
throughout the world today, but most relevantly in other works of fiction such as V for Vendetta
(2005) and The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010). Certain aspects of Fahrenheit 451 are
apparent in these films or books and other works similar because of their restrictive governments
in a dystopian future that cheats its citizens out of their own humanity, as well as the depiction of
people rising above their restrictive governments through means of overcoming censorship.
When relating works of fiction which include restrictive governments, Fahrenheit 451 is
similar to V for Vendetta because of many reasons. Firstly, Fahrenheit 451 states "Any man's
insane who thinks he can fool the government and us." (p.33) This quotation is relatively
apparent in V for Vendetta because the government and the Chancellor believes that the
government is completely in control and no one can hinder or outsmart its great power over its
people, much like how people in Fahrenheit 451 are believed to be happy all the time without
the need for books thus there is no reason for the people to have any arguments according to
certain characters in the book such as the antagonist, Captain Beatty. Another quote from
Fahrenheit 451 would be "Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies.

First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin. Rule 1. Answer the alarm swiftly. 2. Start the fire swiftly. 3.
Burn everything. 4. Report back to firehouse immediately. 5. Stand alert for other alarms." (p.
34-35) Though this excerpt from Captain Beatty's talk with the protagonist, Montag, it was
meant to portray how the modern fire department became established, showing that the
government had rewritten early American history in order to empower itself or make it seem
absolute throughout the course of time. In V for Vendetta, the government in England had
rewritten history ,similarly to Fahrenheit 451, in the government's favor. For instance, it
portrayed America, a former ally, as a total enemy due to its 'sinful' ways- making the country
inferior to that of Britain which had adopted strict religious codes that violated modern human
rights that are associated with the western world. As a result, they declared war which left The
United States ridden with disease and poverty; similar to the ending of Fahrenheit 451 because
America had been devastated by war due to other nations that were tired of maintaining their
happiness while the rest of the world lived in poverty.
Another work of fiction that follows the general theme of Fahrenheit 451 which could be
that governments should have no right to censor any form of expression would be the very
popular Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. In Fahrenheit 451, a quote relating to
censorship would be "Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences." (p.115)
Though Captain Beatty was referring to the fire that burns books, it shows that with no works of
literature, there is no responsibility to have and no consequences to receive, essentially making
everything work in accordance. This is evident in the Hunger Games which is set in a dystopian
future in which the citizens of Panem are forced to serve the capital and are forbidden the
freedom speech. In the event of a citizen in Panem speaking harmfully of the government, they
would silenced, destroying a moral responsibility to act against the restricting government and

preventing future consequences that could become apparent among the people. Continuing with
the relation of the two works, in Fahrenheit 451, a character close to Montag named Faber stated:
"Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge." (p. 87) I interpreted
this quote as a motivator. In a roundabout way, it is telling people to act differently from the main
realm of society in order to maintain humanity and to keep all of us from heading into the same
direction. I believe this is apparent in The Hunger Games because Katniss Everdeen, the
protagonist throughout the trilogy, creates a revolution among the people of Panem to stop their
normal activities and act against the government in order to maintain their rights as humans and
to not fall into complete subordination to the Capital.
In conclusion, Fahrenheit 451 is similar to other works of fiction such as V for Vendetta
and The Hunger Games trilogy. They all consist of dystopian futures and governments that
restrain certain human rights that are apparent in the world of today. These works also motivate
people to not only act differently in order to prevent humanity from traveling in the same
direction, but also to maintain humanity by overcoming obstacles or "standing back from the
centrifuge" which rob people of their natural rights that we possess in the modern world.