Thank you for checking the website. It’s going to help you in the long run, especially if you have missed a day of school.
Here are the notes from Monday, September 16th, just in case you missed them.
Aim: Why is it important to know the history surrounding a fictional novel?
Notes: Fahrenheit 451 and the 1950s
Originally published in 1953
-8 Years after atomic bombs dropped on Japan
American economy was booming
Television becoming big business
Korean War ongoing during writing
-Over 36,000 Americans dead
Beginning of mass communication
Cold War ongoing
-Between the U.S. and Soviet Union
-Caused constant anxiety among the masses
-Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
Born August 22, 1920
Died June 2012 (last year)
Published more than 500 works
HATED American conformity
-doing and thinking as others do
One of the greatest writers of the last century
Fahrenheit 451 regarded as his greatest work
*Please keep in mind that all these notes are interrelated. The end of World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan partially creates the Cold War. Bradbury was born right after the first World War (“The war to end all wars,” ironic, huh?), right before the Great Depression, and was a man in his twenties during WWII. Think about it: he grew up during the worst part of world history, quite literally. Obviously this was going to affect him as an artist.
Television, mass communication in general, he felt would have a negative affect on people’s minds, thus his hate for American conformity. As Bradbury puts it so plainly on his website, Fahrenheit 451 was written because he feared “the moronic influence of [television].” One of the major ideas brought up in class yesterday (Thank you, Ms. Happ) was that it was un-American to not go out and buy a television.
Here is a link to his website where you can watch him talk about American conformity and what inspired him to write the novel: http://www.raybradbury.com/at_home_clips.html. I particularly would like you to watch “Surrounded by Metaphors,” “Bradbury on FAHRENHEIT 451,” and “Bradbury on Censorship and Televison.” These will give you an idea of who he is.
“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” -Ray Bradbury