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We must burn the books so that no one can read them.
Denham's Dentrifice! Denham's Dentrifice! Denham's Dentrifice!
SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
We must be independent so that no one will find us!
The characteristic of hidden knowledge is used a lot in Fahrenheit 451. The government uses it in order to keep civilians from rebelling and to keep them "happy." Without knowledge, a society is unable to progress. In order to keep the society from progressing, firefighters are used to burn books. The quote “They show the pores in the face of life,” (pg 83) explains how the government burned books to keep the ugly truths hidden.
Brainwashing is used by the government in Fahrenheit 451 to keep citizens from thinking independently. In order to keep civilians under government control, they are constantly bombarded with distracting messages on radios, televisions, etc. This prevents people from thinking independently. Bradbury uses the metaphor "A fierce whisper of hot sand through empty sieve,"(118) to symbolize the way knowledge was constantly escaping citizen's minds.
The independence of Montag increases throughout the story the more he uncovers its flaws. When Montag escapes, he finds a group of people that have excluded themselves in order to be free to learn. Clarrise says "The psychiatrist wants to know why I go out and hike around in the forest and watch the birds and collect butterflies." (pg 23) This quote shows how individuality is uncommon in this society.
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