Fahrenheit 451 Misinterpreted

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Ray Bradbury recently became the first science fiction writer to receive a Pulitzer Prize, and he took the opportunity of his interview to reiterate that Fahrenheit 451 has been misinterpreted:

He says the culprit in Fahrenheit 451 is not the state — it is the people. Unlike Orwell’s 1984, in which the government uses television screens to indoctrinate citizens, Bradbury envisioned television as an opiate. In the book, Bradbury refers to televisions as “walls” and its actors as “family,” a truth evident to anyone who has heard a recap of network shows in which a fan refers to the characters by first name, as if they were relatives or friends.

In a video interview on his site, he says:

Fahrenheit is not about censorship. It’s about the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news.

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