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The story was developed in the years after WW2 as a reaction to totalitarian governments like the Nazis. THese governments were anti-intellectual simply because any rational intellect threatened their very existence. Check out this excerpt from GradeSaver,
"The story of fireman Guy Montag first appeared in "The Fireman", a short story by Ray Bradbury published in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1951. Montag's story was expanded two years later, in 1953, and was published as Fahrenheit 451. While the novel is most often classified as a work of science fiction, it is first and foremost a social criticism warning against the danger of censorship. Fahrenheit 451 uses the genre of science fiction, which enjoyed immense popularity at the time of the book's publication, as a vehicle for his message that unchecked oppressive government irreparably damages society by limiting the creativity and freedom of its people. In particular, the "dystopia" motif popular in science fiction - a futuristic technocratic and totalitarian society that demands order and harmony at the expense of individual rights - serves the novel well."
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