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Education is a learning forum through which values, beliefs, knowledge and skills, and habits of people are transmitted from group generation to the next. This knowledge is taught using various forms such as discussion, training, teaching, research, and storytelling. Mostly, it is conducted under the guidance of people with more experience but in some cases, learners tend to educate themselves. Education is one field that experiences a lot of revolution and from this revolution; people come up with different concepts regarding it. Below is a comparison essay discussing the form of education in the 1940’s and 1950’s comparing it to Bradbury’s approach.

The era beginning in 1940 was heavily witnessed by World War 2. It is a period known to many as the Baby Boomer Generation characterized with many lights. This period had increased social, financial, and educational opportunities. In this period, more youths were reported to engage to pursue higher education and located in areas far from their families to undertake certain careers and educational interests. The number is reported to be significantly higher than hat reported in previous periods. This expansion created more job opportunities mainly for teachers in the educational sector (Tyack & Cuban, 17)

This period also witnessed certain changes in the educational sector. There was a state case against the Board of Education that aimed at rationalizing education between the blacks and the whites. In this case, separate schooling by the two was considered unconstitutional. In 1954, the court made a ruling that this form of education was inherently unequal, and both the blacks and the whites started to be taught in the same schools using the same facilities (Cohen & Barnes, 20).

These changes were triggered by the end of the Second World War since it revealed the deficiencies that were present in education during that period. Many draftees got rejected in the army because of the augment that they were illiterate; the variation between their numerical skills and literacy was striking (Tyack & Cuban, 21). The department of Health, Education and Welfare was formed during this season. Generally, tremendous changes were experienced between 1940 and 1949.

The 1950 is referred to as the re-examination era. School criticism began in this period from some who viewed criticism as prestigious, and the uninformed or misinformed people. There was the need to reduce the number of schools so as to improve the quality of education; this was to be done by closing high schools referred to as small. There was also the launch of Sputnik that left the quest of adapting academic programs that were more rigorous (Cohen & Barnes, 14)

Bradbury’s Approach

Bradbury is well known from his novel Fahrenheit 451. The novel was released after the Second World War a period that witnessed great transformation in education. From the novel, Bradbury suggested that there was the need to burn books. His opinion behind this is that education was ‘the destruction of a person’s mind as printed upon matter’. Book burning is a hyperbolic phrase used in describing the suppression of education (Bowers & Kristen, 34).

From the book, ‘People are taught houses always fire-proof,’Montag don’t know anything dealing with the firemen past because all books with such information had been burnt. Therefore, he doesn’t know that the role of firemen is to extinguish fires rather than setting them up. The message this is that information is derived from books, books reveal historical aspects, and teach many aspects to the people. He gives a sense of life to books without which people would have limited knowledge about the world and life. This shows the importance of education that was highly regarded in this period (Bowers & Kristen, 73).

When Montag goes to Professor Faber to get guidance he told that ‘the captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority’. This meant that the government did not need to make books illegal. The emergence of technology would make people stop reading books at their own will. Today, what Bradbury referred to as the enemy of truth and freedom are the owners of social media whereas the unmoving cattle is the state (Bowers & Kristen, 56)

The speech by Beatty in Montag’s house ‘We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal,’ the meaning of this phrase is that books make everyone not to be equal. This is based on the fact that books provide knowledge and in order, to get the knowledge you have to read. This knowledge brings out the differences amid the people. The difference in education can be revealed in the army selection criteria based on education (Vater & Dieter Vater, 87)

When Montag encounters Clarisse for the third time, she talks about her school. The reason of talking about school, this reveals that people less often appreciate the beauty and nature of their surroundings. People need to take time in thinking so that they can talk, and just enjoy the simple things. This criticizes the critics of education in the re-examination period (Vater & Dieter Vater, 101).



From the above, it is evident that Bradbury in his novel was sensitizing about the need for education. The novel is released in at a time when the need of education is increasing and major transformation is being undertaken. Bradbury used his book to reveal about the present, but does it in an fictional way.


Bowers, Kristen. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Literature Guide. Victorville, Calif          Secondary Solutions, 2007. Print

Cohen, D. K., & Barnes, C. A.  Research and the purposes of education. In E. C. Lagemann & L.            S. Shulman (Eds.), Issues in education research: Problems and Possibilities. (pp. 17-41).        San Francisco, 1999. Jossey-Bass.

Conant, J. B. The American high school today. New York: McGraw. 1959

Tyack, D., & Cuban, L. Tinkering toward utopia: A century of public school reform. Cambridge,   MA, 1995. Harvard University Press.

Vater, Dieter, and Dieter Vater. Study Guide to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. 1. Aufl.,             Nachdr. ed. Berlin: Cornelsen, 1988. Print.


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