What Farhenheit 451 Says About Individuality and How It Differs From Conformity - Critical Essay Sample

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Harvey Mudd College
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Literature review
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Fahrenheit 451 is a novel whose author is Ray Bradbury and its basis is a dystopian community. The government is against individuality with the claim that it brings about disputes among individuals. Characters including Beatty and Mildred, therefore, conform to the government as they take it as a way of life. The authority does away with any form of individuality that a person has, and does not entertain knowledge for they will look for a way to implement a punishment against an individual. The idea of individuality shows the differences between persons, it establishes a distinguished personality oneself such as in the case of Clarisse McClellan when he showed Montag at the start of the story. Clarisse McClellan expresses her individuality to the globe, particularly to Montag. Montag made the decision of questioning the world after living outside conformity and consequently becomes an individual (Jonas 2).

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Conformity vs. Individuality Theme in Fahrenheit 451

Individuality serves a significant purpose in a community where occupants have different ideas and varied styles. It is only when this idea exists that the population has the feeling concerning particular life aspects. Clarisse McClellan in the novel expresses individuality. The fact that she is curious and questioning makes her outstanding from the rest. Thinking made her special and Montag saw her as unique. Montag shows uniqueness by finding himself thinking in different ways different from all the questions that Clarisse puts across. In the community, everyone lives off conformity. Montag does not have the same point of reasoning compared to the rest whenever they read since he is deadened to life (Bradbury 26).

On the other hand, conformity is a barrier to communal rights as everything ought to be done identically and particular actions can't be distinct from the statement of the authority in this novel. It also regulates the communal ideas worth hearing as everyone got to follow the common ideology. Beatty’s quotes imply that people should be loyal to the culture as a way of doing away with unhappiness (Bradbury 56). Conformity is the culture in Fahrenheit 451 but the community is distracted with the utilization of simple objects such as racing cars and TV. The appearance of Clarisse appears in line with the government at the start of the novel but he then disappears.


Individuality established disputes in the norm of Fahrenheit 451, and the authority tries doing away with individuality. It is for this reason that individuality is not permitted in the novel as it gave people the freedom to question issues that were wrong. The people lived in line with the implementation of conformity without giving their thinking concerning the issue. With the existence of individuality, the community can be different by thinking freely and exhaustively thus giving way for new ideas whose result is a diverse community (Rodney). However, the view in the novel was not done the right way as it leaves the thoughts of the community unutilized. The novel gives a description of the way in which individuality can transform the way the community addresses issues and the ways in which individuals are different from one another. Consequently, the discovery concerning the importance of every view from each individual helps in the expression of the fact that the community can be full of chaos in absence of individuality (Bradbury 28).

Fahrenheit 451 Quotes about Individuality

  • “She liked to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking and watching the sunrise”

  • “You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that. The others would walk off and leave me talking. Or threaten me”

  • “Oh, they don’t miss me, I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed”

Work Cited

Bradbury, Ray. "Part 1 (p.4-5, 21,26,28,56), Part 2 (p.63, 78,108)." Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. N. page. Print.

Smolla, Rodney A. "Fahrenheit 451." Michigan Law Review Apr. 2009: 895+. General OneFile. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

Jonas, Gerald. "Ray Bradbury, Who Brought Mars to Earth With a Lyrical Mastery, Dies at 91." The New York Times 06 June 2012: 1-2. Print.

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