Democracy and dictatorship


Fake election

The most important element of a democracy, namely free elections, exists in the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Mildred and her friends, Mrs. Bowles and Mrs. Phelps, are talking about the last election. Mrs. Bowles tells them that she voted for President Noble, "same as everyone," because he was "one of the nicest-looking men who ever became president." (Part 2, 67%). 

The women then gossip about the opposing candidate, who was " small and homely" unshaven and with a bad haircut (Part 2, 67%). They are clear that "the Outs(...) don't go running a little short man like that against a tall man" (Part 2, 67%f.). He was, moreover, “fat” and had an unclear pronunciation, and therefore one would hardly have heard what he said, "and the words I did hear I didn't understand!" (Part 2, 69%).

Like all other citizens, the women chose the most handsome presidential candidate. For example, the women were particularly struck by the fact that the opposing candidate, Hoag, was constantly picking his nose while he was on the screens in the TV room (Part 2, 69%).

It should be noted at this point that the women are not particularly interested in the ideas of the two candidates in the discussion. The possible differences between their political intentions are not discussed by the women. The citizens in Fahrenheit 451 prefer not to ask questions and avoid conflict in order to remain permanently happy.

Furthermore, the name and image of the two presidential candidates contrast completely. President "Winston Noble" (whose surname is supposed to suggest how distinguished he is) ran against "Hubert Hoag" (a hoagie is the American term for a giant sandwich). Noble is tall and handsome, while Hoag is short and fat, so he could not win the election.

The two-party system in Fahrenheit 451 turns out to be a false democracy. Two parodied candidates run and are elected on the bas...

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