Selected Short Stories

Fahrenheit 451 Through the Lens of "We Wear the Mask" and "Barn Burning" 9th Grade

Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 explores the idea of a person living a tedious, restrictive life while trying to fool himself into believing in a sense of happiness. Similarly, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear the Mask,” proposes the idea that people are wearing masks in order to deceive themselves and others and suppress their real emotions. Fahrenheit 415 further elaborates that one can only find true happiness if he makes the decision to abandon everything familiar and just run away, achieving tranquility and inner delight. “Barn Burning,” a short story by William Faulkner, also presents the life changing decision to flee from the unpleasant, well-known life in order to find true contentment. This essay, through explicit use of “We Wear the Mask” and “Barn Burning,” will explore the superficial urban life of Guy Montag, the main character in Fahrenheit 451, and later on his important decision to run away from civilization, thus finding his true self and inner peace. In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury argues that the best way to break free from the vicious circle that is exemplified by a fake monotonous life without real feelings or excitement is by making a...

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