Essay Example: The World of Fahrenheit 451 and Donald Trump's America

2021-07-08 15:15:17
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1958 words
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Harvey Mudd College
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Essay
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Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States of America, was born from a rich family in New York in 1946 (Robinson 72). Before being elected the president, Trump was a prominent businessman and a famous TV personality in the United States. With extensive free media coverage and against all the odds, he became the wealthiest and oldest occupant of the white house. It is reported that Trump started his real estate businesses with a loan of one million dollars from his father (Thomas 1). On the other hand, Fahrenheit 451 is the name of a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury which was published in 1953. The novel is regarded as one of the best works by Ray Bradbury. The book explains about a future American society where books are outlawed, and a group of firemen is used to burn any that are found. The title Fahrenheit 451 represents a hypothetical temperature in which the book is set. This paper compares the first 100 days of Donalds Trump reign and the society depicted in Fahrenheit 451, the manipulation of the American citizens by Donald Trump and the violation of the First Amendment by the Trump administration.

Donald Trump made his name in the real estate business constructing luxurious properties such as golf courses, apartments, hotels, and casinos (Thomas 1). Apart from real estate, Trump invested in other ventures such as branding items with his name, authoring, and co-authoring books, and producing and appearing in TV shows. As he ran his businesses, Trump expressed his interest in participating in politics. In 2015, Trump announced that he would be running for the presidency in the 2016 presidential election with the Republican Party (DelReal, 1). He defeated sixteen opponents in the Republican primaries and secured the party nomination to vie for the presidency. 0n 8th November 2016, Trump secured a surprise victory in the American general elections over the Democrats nominee and seasoned politician, Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States on 20th January 2017 after taking over from Barack Obama.

The political positions of Donald Trump were described by political analysts as protectionist, populist and nationalist (Pearce, Rousseau & Aisch 1). To receive free and extensive media coverage, Donald Trump utilized false and controversial public statements. These controversial statements were made during his campaign meeting and through the use of his twitter handle. This publicity made him the first American president with no background career in public service or the US military.

In President Trump's first 100 days in office, key decisions have been made including the signing of executive orders that removed the US from the Trans-Atlantic partnership and fast tracking high priority infrastructure projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline (Thomas 1). However, he achieved very few of his major 100-day commitments and had the lowest ratings for any president at 100 days since the polling started. President Trumps major policies have been controversial and have included a futile attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and banning citizens of Muslim majority nation from the United States (Esmaili, 1). The dismissal of the director of the Federal Binaural of Investigations (FBI) James Comey after he announced that the FBI was investigating an alleged Russian interference in the American general election, for instance, seriously alarmed his critics.

The decisions taken by Donald Trump especially relating to his wealth and the members of his family have also raised integrity questions. His decision to give key advisory roles in the White House to his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner raised questions of nepotism (Murray & Diaz 1). The transfer the management of his family business to his children instead of a secret trust was also controversial and unprecedented. This raised ethical issues of the presidents personal businesses benefiting due to his position.

On the other hand, Fahrenheit 451 is a novel set in an unnamed American city in unspecified future time (after 1960). The book explores how the mass media reduces the interests in reading books. The book is based on Guy Montag who is a fireman who starts fires rather than putting them out. In Montag's society, people do not read books, engage in meaningful conversations, have independent thoughts or enjoy nature. Instead, they watch television for excessive periods of time and listen to radio using a radio set attached to their ears.

Montag encounters a seventeen-year-old girl, named Clarisse, who bombards him with innocent questions on her unusual love for nature and other people. These penetrating questions open up Montag, and he realizes how empty his life is. Over the next few days, Montag experiences traumatic events including the attempted suicide of his wife through an overdose of sleeping pills, an odd choice of an old woman to die with her books rather than letting the firemen burn her books and the death of Clarisse in a road accident. These events increase Montag's dissatisfaction with his life, and he seeks answers from the books he has stolen from the fires he had started and hidden in his house's air conditioning vent.

When Montag fails to appear at his work place, he is visited by his boss the fire chief at his own house. The fire chief, Beatty, explains to Montag that what he is experiencing is normal to firemen and they always wonder what books have to offer. Beatty further explains what lead to banning of books by explaining that special interest groups and other minorities objected to books that offended them and soon all books started to look the same as authors tried to write books that offended no one. That did not satisfy the society, and it decided to burn all the books rather than permitting people to express conflicting opinions. Beatty allows Montag to read the stolen books for 24 hours to see if they contain any worthy information before turning them up for incineration. This marks the beginning of a long night of reading for Montag.

When Montag is overwhelmed with the task of reading, he requests the assistance and support from his wife. However, the wife prefers watching television to the company with her husband and cannot comprehend why her husband is taking a risk by reading the books. After his wifes snub, Montag recalls meeting a retired English professor at the park and thinks that the man might help him comprehend the contents of the books. He visits the retired professor, Faber, at his home and the professor explains to him that the value of the books contents lies in the detailed awareness of the lives they contain and one needs not only the books but also the leisure to read and the freedom to act on ideas expressed by the books.

Faber agrees to assist Montag in reading, and together they create a risky plan that will question the status quo. Faber agrees to contact a printer who will reproduce the books while Montag will hide the books in the homes of his fellow firemen to discredit the profession. Faber gives Montag a two-way radio set that they will use to communicate covertly to enable him to hear what Montag hears and to talk to Montag.

Montag returns home, and soon two friends of his wife visit her. They start discussing their family and a war that was about to be declared flippantly. The ignorance of the women angers him, and he reads to them a poetry piece. Faber buzzes him to shut him up, and his wife explains that poetry is not a standard way for firemen to demonstrate the usefulness of literature. This poem greatly disturbs the women, and they quickly leave to report Montag. Montag then returns one of the stolen books to the fire chief, and Beatty bombards him with contradictory statements from great books. Beatty utilizes the contradictory statements to show how literature is dangerous and why it deserves to be incinerated. Suddenly an alarm sounds at the fire station, and when they rush to answer it, they realize it is for Montag's house. They reach the house to find Montag's wife leaving with her suitcase, and it is at this time that Montag realizes that his wife has betrayed him.

Montag is forced by the fire chief to burn his own house, and then after burning the house, he is placed under arrest by the chief. As Beatty is berating, Montag uses the flame thrower against him and burns him to ashes. He then knocks out his fellow firemen and runs for his life. The Mechanical Hound, a machine used by the fire chief pursues Montag, and it injects him with a large dose of tranquilizers. Montag attacks the machine with the flame thrower, and he destroys the machine. After taking the books hidden in his backyard, he limps away. He hides the books in another fireman's house and then calls the alarm from a pay phone.

Montag limps to Fabers house where he learns that another Hound has been sent to pursue him as well as helicopters and a TV crew. Faber explains to Montag that he is leaving for St. Louis to see a retired printer who might be of assistance to them. He then gives Montag some money and clothes and after which Montag instructs him on how to remove his scent from his house to prevent the Mechanical Hound from entering the house. Montag runs off and towards the river as the whole city watches the pursuit live on the TV. He manages to reach the river where he changes into Faber's clothes to disguise his scent and drifts downstream from where he follows some abandoned rail roads until he meets a group of intellectuals led by Granger who are part of a great network of book lovers who have memorized books to preserve the knowledge from destruction. Montag is given the task of memorizing the book of Ecclesiastes. Then, enemy jets attack and destroy the city and Montag and his new friends move to the city to find the survivors and rebuild the civilization.

The First Amendment

The First Amendment is the provision of the Constitution of the United States that protects the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion from government interference (Esmaili, 1). This amendment prevents laws that may create a national religion, hinder the peoples right to practice any religion, restrict peoples freedom of speech, infringe the freedoms of press, restrict peoples right to petition the government to address their grievances and interfere with peoples right to assemble peacefully. It was incorporated into the Bill of Rights in 1791 and has been interpreted by the courts to apply across the whole federal government and not only the Congress to which it expressly applies. Further court rulings have protected the First Amendment from interference by states governments.

There are two clauses in the First Amendment that guarantee the freedom of religion; the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. The government is prevented from forming a national religion or preference of one religion over the other religions by the Establishment Clause. This clause promotes separation of state from religion. The Free Exercise Clause restricts the government from interfering with a persons practice of religion.

The freedom of expression is also promoted by the First Amendment. The most basic aspect of the freedom of expression is the speech. This enables citizens to express themselves without government interference. The interpretation of courts requires the government to give a clear justification before interfering with ones freedom of speech. The Amendment guarantees that a person cannot be held liable for words he has spoken given that the words are the truth or an honest opinion. However, there are restrictions and speeches that may cause a breach of peace or violence such as advocating illegal action and obscenities. Freedom of the press is also supported in the First Amen...

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