In both Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 the society the characters live in is government controlled and they limit certain things in the lives of the citizens. Both of the authors of these books are trying to warn today’s societies about the dangers of the different faults they each exhibit and how today’s societies are starting to reflect the warnings of the books. Both Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 warn today’s societies about when government has overbearing control and holds knowledge from its citizens using fear and other means it causes rebellion and dependence within societies.
In Anthem the government has control over everything in the citizens lives starting from when the people are born through every year they live until they die. They learn what their taught and nothing more. They do what they are told and follow the laws that the society is based upon. The citizens think what the government has planted into their heads from when they were born.
Using repetition and having complete control over every surrounding in the people’s lives the government can easily brainwash the citizens and can form them into anything they wants the people to be. In this novel, the society takes on an extreme version of government control. Compared to Fahrenheit 451 where the government control is still present but uses different tactics to get the same controlled and brainwashed results as the government in Anthem. In Fahrenheit 451 the citizens learn just what they are taught and nothing more, as it is in Anthem.
Using teachings that merely scratching the surface on topics and using teaching methods so that the students never learning how to think for themselves or analyze anything, for that would lead to free thinkers within the society which is exactly what the governments in both books are trying to avoid. In Fahrenheit 451 they also withhold books and the knowledge of what is in them, making the books illegal and using fear of consequences to keep people away from them.
The government also controls the citizen’s thoughts through the means of technology, exposing it everywhere and having kids grow up with it. Using this connection to technology they can brainwash the citizen in Fahrenheit 451 to think anything they want through means of what they hear constantly through the screens of there everyday life. Both of the societies in Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 have the ideals of a perfectly run world and the government’s answer to achieving this is complete government control and having every citizen act and think a certain way to keep a good running society.
In both societies, to make the people follow the ways of the community, they limit knowledge and try to take away the option of freethinking and having the people be able to discover things about the governments ways or find ideals and wants within themselves. These actions have been reflected in real world circumstances as well, in World War I Hitler used persuasive talking and brainwashing of people to get followers and make people think in his ways. And like in Fahrenheit 451, Nazi power used banning of books as a way to keep people to think just as they wanted them to.
Any book that had any anti-German or anti-Nazi ideas were banned and burned in public settings. Once people were hooked on Hitler’s idea, using this newfound power he was able to manipulate people to join his side and fight for what is wrong without most people realizing what exactly was going on. Using the tactics found in both Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 with overpowering government and withholding knowledge from the citizens, Hitler was able to get people to follow him in his path as he tried to make his version, of what he thought, was a perfect community.
Along with Hitler using manipulation and persuasive tactics to brainwash the citizens, he also used fear. This tactic of using fear as a way to control the people in a society is also seen in both Anthem and Fahrenheit 451. In Anthem, the society uses fear to warn people what will happen to them if they step out of line or break a rule in the society. They used the public execution of the Unspeakable Word Transgressor to place fear in the citizens and keep them in line.
This tactic places a frightful picture in the heads of the people and lets them know their fate in the society if they choose the same path as the one who spoke out against the ways of the society. This also re-enforces the power that the government has and reminds the people of the power the government holds and that they would be testing their fate if they ever tried to say differently. In Fahrenheit 451, fear is used to create the same message in the society as Anthem, but in a different way.
In Fahrenheit 451, the fear is within the known consequences of certain actions. The citizens know, and most have seen, what happens to the people that read and keep forbidden books in their homes. Using this public display of burning houses and the rebellion of the citizens that get quickly controlled by firemen and shipped off to jail, puts a reminder into the people’s mind that you can’t get away with anything in the society and remind them of the power that the government has. In the society they also use brainwashing as a way to place fear in the outcasts.
The children are raised with violent and bullying tendencies by their surroundings, lack of parenting and lack of nurturing from a young age. The children that do end up being social, and not turning to violence, are bullied and out casted from society until farther steps are taken. This is shown with Clarisse and her situation that lead her to death. This places fear in early generations to live up to the normal childhood presented by the community, or what the government makes kids to be. It’s an easy way to control the outcasts and rebellious ones because the government knows what happens to the kids that don’t fit in.
This theme is carried into adulthood with the society with neighbors ratting out other neighbors and friends telling on friends if they see that they are doing something wrong or illegal by terms of the government. Using fear to control a society is used in many ways in today’s society with terrorist groups and governments using war and other tactics to use fear as a way to control society. “The people don’t want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger.
It works the same in every country. ” -Hermann Goring. This quote, by one of the leading Nazi leaders during World War I, is showing how when you place fear in a society, like the fear of being attacked, citizens will be more open to ideas and will be more willing to follow their country and leaders than they would have been if there had been no threats. This relates to Fahrenheit 451 and Anthem in that both societies had been through a grave time, Anthem having had a war to remind them or difficult times, and Fahrenheit 451 who was going through an ongoing war at the time.
The citizens were scared and were more willing to cooperate with their governments knowing of the risk or consequences that have come from war and threats and having fear that it might affect them. In today’s society we also use fear and violence, like in in the books, with brutal police force. Using pepper spray and beating citizens that were in peaceful protests for equal rights. This kind of police showing places fear within the consequences, like what is shown with the two books, and re-enforces our government’s power and steps their willing to take.
With limiting knowledge and placing fear in societies it will cause more than just being more susceptible to brainwashing and following ideas by a higher power but it will also cause dependence within the citizens and community. When terror strikes or people enter an uncomfortable situation, they need something to cling onto, this is shown in both books. In Anthem the citizens depend on their daily routine set by their government and knowing that it will be the same day in and day out. If things started to change most of them wouldn’t know what to do.
The people in the society cling to what they know and most don’t want it to change. With this dependence it also causes people to cling to the government for help because they control their life. This is also an advantage for the government to be able to hold control and hold power more easily. This is also shows true in Fahrenheit 451, but in a slightly different way, in their society the government has given the citizens a physical thing to latch onto, technology. The people turn to technology in hard times as a distraction and use it to ease their minds and not have to deal with the real world problems they have.
The people in this society are addicting to technology and the government has made it accessible to them everywhere. The people turn to their technology as a way to stop thinking and become oblivious to the other dangers and horror’s in their own life. Their dependence on technology leads them to a life that is very distant from others and is only focused on the one thing they are paying attention to, their electronics. This also helps out the government control in their society in the same way that it does with Anthem.
With the government having control over the technology and what is broadcasted then the government can take control and brainwash people through the electronics and make them believe anything that is told through it. This idea of dependence is shown as a part of human nature in the real world in many aspects. It is also what causes people to be able to follow someone and follow a leader in hard or frightening times. When people are in a challenging time, they need a light at the end of the tunnel or similar something to keep them moving forward, without this people shut down and fall apart.
Whether it’s a leader that brings hope, something that people can cling on to or a solution they are moving towards, people always need motivation to move forward. This need makes people come together during depressions and wars and find safety and hope in their leaders. And it also shows how a lot of people are willing to work and help with anything that is needed during these hard times, just to give them something to keep busy with and keep motivated to move forward and get past the hard time.
With all of these mistakes made by governments and societies and over controlling ways to form the “perfect” society, someone will find the fault and have the courage to be willing to change what they believe is wrong. Whether this is one person or more there will always be someone who will break free from the crowd and realize what is truly going on in the society and how is not okay. In Anthem this was Equality, Liberty and International that all showed this will and rebellious state of mind.
It was shown in their eyes and that how the people that were more likely to have free thinking qualities, being more likely to break the laws and not follow the ways of the society had much brighter and stronger eyes compared to the dull lifeless eyes of their brothers. Equality was not willing to give up his rights and gave in to his thirst for knowledge and learning. Throughout the book you can watch his character transform into a more independent and rebellious person until all the ties are broken between him and the society’s ways and his rebellious side is full force as he leaves the society for his knowledge and his freedom.
This is also shown in Fahrenheit 451 with Guy, Clarisse, Faber, and the groups that live outside the cities. In this novel there is a bigger group of rebellious force due to the more relaxed grip the government has on its citizens and it’s less defined community borderers. As in Anthem, the reader follows the main character, Guy Montag, through his journey of finding out his own values and finding the faults in the society he lives in until he reaches full rebellion and leaves the society behind him. It took a little push from others who held this rebellious side and a different view than the rest of the people in the society.
Clarisse was one of those people who’s different outlook on life and way of thinking snapped Guy back into reality for a moment and just long enough to get his mind starting to think of everything in his current situation. With Faber helping him process his thoughts and ideas to where he was certain that something must be done about the ways of the community. Then finally the group on the railroad tracks that helped Guy make his final break with the society after he had left and never look back to the governments ways again.
With just a little start or a tiny push, something can turn into a big deal pretty quickly. In both of these stories the government control cannot get to everyone, even as much as they try, and when the government control is overbearing and controlling people with their own ideals and thoughts will put up a fight to try and stop the government no matter how much the government tries to stop them first. This happens in societies today with people that are protesting for what they believe is right.
In today’s world this has been a way of finding and getting rights as people documented all the way back to 1152 BC in Egypt when workers halted there work and rebelled against King Ramsey III for unfair work conditions. This has happened with slavery rights, woman’s rights and every unfair law and treatment that governments and people of higher power used to try and control and conquer others. All of the warnings in both Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 are reflected in today’s society in some aspect. Although two very different story lines and different societies that are being written about, both books share similar warnings and ideas.
In both books the author’s take the ideals and warning that are present in our society today and blow them up in an over exaggerated way. The books exhibit the worst parts of societies today and where these paths are leading us. Most of the government’s tactics and values in the stories match those of today’s societies and societies are starting to reflect more of the themes in these books. Although the societies in the book reflect the worst of most societies in today’s world, they are both told through the protagonist who realizes the problems that are evident and is trying to save the community.
They show the best way to be and some of the best qualities in a person, a person who is a free thinker, one that thirsts for knowledge and forms their own rules and ideals. By the end of both books the protagonists have broken away from the societies and the books end with a hope for the future and re-building of a society. Both of the books are full of warnings and warnings to societies today of what not to become, but it also has a promising and helpful side, giving advice of what our society should learn and strive for and how to avoid the warning that are given. People cannot be controlled and told what to think.
Human nature needs to be set free and people’s minds needs to discover and create to be able to function properly and lead normal happy lives. In these societies the government has taken most of this away and the people have a very hard time to be able to find it for themselves. Thinking for his/her self is a good message to give to societies today, especially when communities are beginning to reflect the ways of the book to a greater extent. In today’s society people have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of letting the government decide people’s choices and tell them what to think.
If people listen to politicians and believe everything they say, they will most likely not be getting the full story and they will end up believing lies and letting other people tell them what is correct even when it isn’t. This also happens in societies with listing to what is “in” and listing to famous or powerful people about how everyone should be and act, and trying to become that. This also leads to brainwashing in communities and leads people to be more easily susceptible to other government control and being overrun by societies ways and other people’s opinions.
People have to make their own choices and not be lazy in the pursuit of happiness, another key warning in both of the books. Through these books it shows us that when government control is more than necessary and over steps their bounds it can lead to uncomfortable circumstances and a lot of stress in societies. Starting with governments limiting learning, creating fear and planting things to manipulate and brainwash the citizens and ending with communities in fear, citizens in rebellion and unhappiness throughout societies.
This is all in hope and intentions of having a “well-run” and so-called “perfect” society. If people aren’t thinking for themselves and communities aren’t adapting freely and letting change happen naturally, then the only change that will come is for those who want it bad enough to make a scene and do something for their rights and quality of life. These people hopefully get the wheels turning so that more people will realize the true reality, realize what is right and to be able to follow in the footsteps of the real leaders of society.
Cite this Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 comparative
Anthem and Fahrenheit 451 comparative. (2016, Jul 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/anthem-and-fahrenheit-451-comparative-essay/