Beatty’s Lecture

Beatty blames technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure as the cause for the current state of society in Fahrenheit 451 as well as the reason why books are burned. Beatty describes how books used to appeal to people, but then the population started rising and films and radio became the norm. Over time, books slowly started getting less and less popular; they became shorter and shorter. “One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes!” (Page 52) Beatty describes how books eventually disappeared. People only valued pleasure and fun, so things that made people think were cut down on (classes in school such as philosophies, histories, languages, English grammar and spelling, etc.) Sports were pushed, as well as activities that promoted group spirit and fun, cartoons and pictures becoming more popular. Beatty said this caused the mind to absorb less and less which lead to people becoming impatient. As the population rose, that meant more minorities were present. Beatty said controversy was bad, and you didn’t want to offend anyone, so controversial things were destroyed. This meant books and knowledge, giving people the ability to think for themselves would lead to controversy, so it was destroyed. Beatty describes how technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure are the reasons why society is in its current state in the book Fahrenheit 451 and also the reason for burning books.

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