A novel from the past about a dystopian society much like our own, could be seen as a warning to society today, because of the increasing use of technology.
In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury addresses a warning to future society, by demonstrating the potential issues that could surface from the increasing use of modern technology. The loss of social interaction with others, devaluing not only their own life but others around them, not being able to think for themselves. The loss of social interactions with other individuals.
Mildred would rather spend all of her time in the ‘parlor’ with the ‘parlor’ family than her real one. ”It’s really fun. It’ll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a wall-TV put in. It’s only two thousand dollars” (Bradbury 20). The people in Bradbury’s society find social interactions with one-another dull and would rather spend time engrossed in their beloved ‘parlor’ wall.
The bond of family means very little to the people in the society, as show when a friend of Mildred talks about how she treats her children. ” I plunk the children in school nine days out of ten..
. they come home three days a month… You heave them into ‘the parlor’ and turn the switch it’s like washing clothes: stuff laundry in and slam the lid.” (Bradbury 96).
All the advancements of technology have gotten in the way of human relationships and having genuine connections to other people. In Fahrenheit 451, the characters have sea shell radios: a headphone like device that allows listener to hear different radio broadcasts. Mildred is describe as being anti-social while listening, as she and her husband, Montag, lie in bed he cannot help but notice ” her seashell was tamped to her ear again, she was listening to far people in far away places, her eyes wide and staring at the fathoms of blackness above her” (Bradbury 42). Montag goes on to think he needs to buy a seashell in order to talk to her.
The people in Ray Bradbury’s novel have devalued not only their life but others around them. Individuals in the society, would rather commit suicide rather than live. A friend of Mildred says, ” I’ve never known any dead man killed in a war. Killed jumping off building, yes, like Gloria’s husband last week.” (Bradbury 94). The people in the society are more likely to die from killing themselves then from war, this is a warning to society about the increase of mental illness. The citizens in the novel, especially the women believe that children are an inconvenience. ” I’ve had two children by Caesarean section.
No use going through all that agony for a baby. The world must reproduce, you know, the race must go on…” (Bradbury 96). Individuals in the novel do not have a deeper understanding or regard of human life so, violence has become accepted as a norm in society. Montag becomes aware of society through interacting with Clarisse, he doesn’t realize how wrong his society is till Clarisse says.
“I’m afraid of children my own age. They kill each other. Did it always used to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone.”(Bradbury 27). Individuals in the society have stopped thinking for themselves.
In Fahrenheit 451, the government gains control of the novels society by telling people what to think, not letting individuals think for themselves. “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal .
. . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it.” (Bradbury 58). Caption Beatty speaks explaining the revisionist history to Montag. He defends the disintegration of authenticity and the ‘equalization of society’.
Additionally, People in the novel are credulous, they believe what other people tell them easily without having to be convinced. For example, when Montag was trying to tell his wife, Mildred, about the books ”Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls.” (Bradbury 125). Also, citizens make political decisions basted of who everyone else is voting for, not for who they see fit. As said by Mrs.
Bowles, a friend of Mildred, “I voted last election, same as everyone… president Noble. I think he’s one of the nicest-looking man ever became president.” (Bradbury 96).