?What are the rights of a government? Does the government have the right to control what we think and where we get our intellectual stimulation? After the Constitution of the United States was drafted, a Bill of Rights containing ten articles was adopted and ratified by the thirteen states. In the first article, it guaranteed the people the freedom of religion, speech, the press, and public assembly. People were given the right to enrich themselves with knowledge accumulated through their readings from whatever source they chose and to make criticism towards the government as they saw fit. Because of the liberty given to its people, it is no wonder that the United States government is considered a model government in the world today. Any sound government would allow its people to make their own free judgement according to their knowledge from any sources they may gather. ?Ray Bradbury’s vision of a disordered world was expressed in his book Fahrenheit 451. Set in the future, it deals with a man’s struggle between his destructive government position and his inner self-conscience. Guy Montag was a fireman but he did not put out fires.
Instead, he created them through the burning of books. This was what Bradbury was trying to imply through the title of his book, Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which books burn. Montag was leading a fairly happy life until he met a girl, Clarisse, who aroused his deepest feelings and fears. He became curious about the contents of books and wondered why they were so feared. This led him through a series of events which changed his life forever. When Montag asked Beatty about the burning of books he was told, “If you don’t want a man to be unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.” The futurist government displayed in Fahrenheit 451 tried to prevent any feelings or opinions contrary to their own because they did not want to be challenged.
In order to have a good government, the people are the most important part. It is ultimately the people who have to live with what they choose. The government has to protect the people's natural rights and beliefs. It has to do whatever is necessary to look out for the peoples best interests. The Declaration of Independence and Robespierre's Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen both have ...
Instead, they fed unwanted junk into the minds of their people through the parlor, a wall to wall television. This machine, that does not inspire the thinking process, lead them to make the conclusion that their world revolves around it and nothing else. Critical thinking became less important. The ability to make rational decisions diminished. “So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.” People were not given the opportunity to realize how imperfect their society was and to change it for the better. ?The ideas given in Bradbury’s book are not new ideas. After the fall of the Chou dynasty in 246 B.C., Ch’in Shih Huang-ti became the new ruler of China. Because of his tyranny, people had many reasons to hate him.
To prevent criticism of his rule, the emperor ordered the burning of all books. Two thousand years later, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler destroyed forbidden books in huge bonfires. What were in these books that evoke such fear? Hitler knew that books motivated revolution. The Nazi government was not a reasonable government. It tried to control its people and to shape their thinking. Anyone who refused to conform was destroyed.
The actions of Ch’in Shih Huang-ti and Hitler showed remarkable similarity to Bradbury’s book. Books were considered dangerous because they stimulate the human mind to question about the dependability of their government. ?The ideas for change often comes from books. Because of this, many great upheavals in the history of mankind got their ideas from books. For example, John Locke’s Treatises on Government discussed about the three basic rights of man. He also believed that as reasonable beings, “man had the natural ability to govern their own affairs and to look after the welfare of society”.
The covenant is very dear to our modern world, being that many political philosophers that shaped our modern world based much of their theories on a covenanted government. When looking at the United States, the theory was considered important from the Mayflower Compact and on. The theory of "a covenanted people" is associated with Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau. Our "framers" took all of the ...
His ideas were later used by Thomas Jefferson to justify the rebellion of 13 colonies against their English king. When the printing press was first used in the fifteenth century, it became the tool for the spreading of new ideas. Books encouraged people to think for themselves and to interpret ideas as they saw fit. With the printing press to spread a writer’s ideas, the pen could indeed be mightier than the sword. ?A society can not progress if the government fails to realize the importance of a well read union. The government must not stop the expansion of the human mind for selfish motives. A proper government will not limit its people in their search for the key to happiness and self satisfaction.
Ray Bradbury wanted to warn his future readers about the society in his book which he fears would come to pass.