The Connection Between Knowledge and Power


Question # 1 Quotes:

  • “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war.” – Fahrenheit 451
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln.
  • The first quote shows how those in power control those without knowledge. The second quote supports the first quote by explaining that power changes people.

Property-object belonging to someone; a thing that someone has ownership over.

Controlling- the use of force to make something a certain way.

Society- an environment and all of the people in it.

Who Holds the Power in Society?

From Flames to Ashes

Where There was Fire Ashes Remain

Questions that I want to raise:

  • What gives people the authority to oppress?
  • How does one overcome the barrier of social hierarchy?

In Fahrenheit 451, fire serves as a means of controlling the people. Books are burned because the content which they contain would provide people with knowledge. Knowledgeable individuals ask questions and that curiousity leads to discovery which is not something that would be encouraged. In order to keep power, the minority must be kept in ignorance. The process of burning books to prevent people from reading was not very effective because people held secret meetings to read and others managed to memorize writings to recite. The reason these people had that ambition is because the thirst for knowledge is infinite. Once you realize that there are things you do not know then you are filled with a desire to uncover as many truths as you can. Also, when something is forbidden it only makes you want it more. In Style Wars, many people were offended by the graffiti to the extent that all trains were cleaned and security was heightened to prevent any other outburst. In addition, graffiti writers were offered compensation for creating pieces on canvases as a way to control them because it was evident that the graffiti could not be restrained.

I chose to do question number one because I felt that it is of utter importance to reiterate the fact that reading is power. Only by deprieving people of knowledge can one control another. Those in power have and currently continue to find means to control people and make them obedient/loyal servants. As I have mentioned in blog number one, there is always someone trying to silence anyone who is deemed to be a threat.

I would like to explore the contradiction of how the government claims to want to do what’s best for the people while abiding by the constitution when they are in clear violation when they take our rights.

Question # 2 Quotes:

  • The first quote demonstrates how anyone could create an image to change your mind and the second quote supports it by saying that the message meant by the artist is portrayed without saying anything.

Questions that I want to raise:

  • What are the hidden messages of images?
  • Why was there an influx of images?
  • Has the accessibility to art deter its value? Why or why not?

A long time ago the possession of art was seen as a sign of wealth and power. The earliest European images were accessible only by the elite class because the work that went into creating them was long and massive. Only the wealthy could afford to have such a luxury to pay someone to paint them biblical texts. As time passed self portraits became popular followed by landscape painting. With the invention of the printing press it became easier and faster to produce written texts. It no longer took years to complete one book therefore it was easier to have access. Lewis Hines used images as a tool for social reform, he wanted to expose truths. Nude paintings of women portrayed women as inferior to men and as property. Women are still seen as objects in images when they are shown in scandalous outfits advertising things that are completely unrelated to the way they are dressed because women are seen as pieces of meat.

The reason I chose to do question number two was because nowadays we are constantly flooded with overwhelming images but this was not always the case. Being in the 21st century it may be hard to imagine a time when only the rich had direct access to the arts because in this time and age it is far too easy to access an image. Therefore I wanted to discuss the evolutionary process of how the arts came to be how we know it today.

I would like to explore both the negative and positive impacts that the power of images has on people.

Question # 7 Quotes:

  • “Knowledge unfits a child to be a slave.” – Frederick Douglass
  • “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” – WInston Churchill
  • Both quotes express the importance of knowledge because it prevents you from living in ignorance.

Book-a written or printed work that serves as a source of knowledge.

Humanity-the collective grouping of humans.

Knowledge of Your Past Creates a Brighter Future

History Has a Way of Repeating Itself

Questions that I want to raise:

  • How would the world be different without the invention of the Gutenberg’s printing press?
  • What alternative to expression would people have other than writing?
  • What would happen if there were never books?

If I lived in the world of Fahrenheit 451 I would memorize a history book because I have heard countless times that “history tends to repeat itself.” If you do not learn from your mistakes then you will end up repeating them. Therefore I feel it would be important to know the history to avoid making the same mistakes. In order to progress in life one must reflect on the errors of the past and seek ways to create a better future. I would consider this book important for the future of humanity because in order to recreate a society it would be helpful to know what to avoid because time is too glorious to be wasted. Knowledge of what leads to downfall results in success.

I chose to do question number seven because people underappreciate the value of books and the liberty to read whatever they please. The harsh reality is that at some points in history people were forbidden to read. Something as simple as reading which students often see as a punishment would be considered a privilege to so many other people. As I mentioned in blog number two, reading has value and power that people do not realize.

I would like to explore how the world functioned before people had access to the printed word.

-Tania Bernhardt-


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