by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 Rules and Order Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Paragraph)
"More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you don't have to think, eh? Organize and organize and super organize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, nowhere. The gasoline refugee. Towns turn into motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before." (1.610)
This need for constant motion hints at the citizens’ dissatisfaction. The system is designed to mask that discontent, not to fix it.
"Remember, the firemen are rarely necessary. The public itself stopped reading of its own accord. You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but it's a small sideshow indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line. So few want to be rebels any more. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easily. Can you dance faster than the White Clown, shout louder than ‘Mr. Gimmick’ and the parlour ‘families’? If you can, you'll win your way, Montag. In any event, you're a fool. People are having fun." (2.171)
Notice that the government fights rebellion with happiness. Rather than cut down insurrection, they assure that it won’t happen in the first place. This means that they have restricted not only the actions of the citizens, but their thoughts as well.
"Here or there, that's bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We've a record on her family. We've watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can't rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That's why we've lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we're almost snatching them from the cradle." (1.624)
The existence of people like Clarisse McClellan – or even like Guy Montag – makes Fahrenheit 451 an optimistic novel. It’s that whole "the human spirit prevails" thing.