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The Idea of Existentialism
The Idea of Existentialism

The Idea of Existentialism

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Matthew Bolt
Pohl-1st
Existentialism Essay
Fahrenheit 451 In Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451, the idea of existentialism can be seen in quite a few ways through alienation. Existentialism is the idea that the existence of one comes living and doing, not just being.

One of the characteristics of existentialism is alienation. The four parts of alienation exemplified in Fahrenheit 451 are alienation from God, nature, others, and ones own self.
Alienation from God can be seen when Montag is speaking to Faber on the phone. Montag asks him, “How many copies of the Bible are left in this country.

(76)” This shows us that people have no longer the desire to think about God and the messages that he has to tell us. They are unable to study his messages due to the burning of all the books. The people of the society don’t have time to just relax and read the Bible. This is not the kind of behavior that is acceptable by others, so no one bothers to do it, even if they did have a copy of the Bible. If the

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subject is ever brought up, they just try to avoid it. This can be seen when Montag is talking to Mildred after his talk with Faber.

He shows her the book and says, “This is the Old and New Testament, and ....(76)” She quickly says, “Don’t start that again!(76)” This is an example of how those of the society separate themselves from the subject of the Bible which in turn, ends up alienating themselves from God.

Another part of alienation is alienation from others. In the society, people make little contact with each other. However when they do, they never really go into a deep conversation. They don’t consider it appropriate to talk about the society or others feelings towards certain things. A perfect example of this is when Clarisse is talking to Montag and he asks her why she isn’t in school. She replies; “Oh they don’t miss me.

I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it?.

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