Technology has increasingly taken over more and more of people’s daily lives every year. Most believe that this will create a brighter future but Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury symbolizes a version of our future that has become darker due to the rampantly increasing use of technology. Throughout Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury shows readers how a poor, dystopian society was engineered by technology, how technology affected the characters in the novel, and how he feels about the use of technology in society. Although Fahrenheit 451 is fictional, readers can relate to the use of technology and its effects in today’s society In the novel, Montag‘s society‘s demand for uncontroversial, easy pleasure causes printed matter to be diluted. Eventually people are only allowed to watch tv and listen to the radio, his civilization feels that they are so vast that “minorities can‘t be upset or stirred”.
They feel that books contained things that were objectionable to minorities and special interest groups. People like Mildred prefer television because they think it is more ”real” than books, She even claims that her tv “family is people They tell her things; she laughs, they laugh! And all the colors”! Mildred more often prefers this virtual family over her own husband, Montag. Their society once knew that books had the power to allow one person to excel intellectually, and practically over others and make others feel inferior, Once books started being burned, this could no longer happen anymore. This society became very dystopian, full of misery, oppression, and dehumanization. Thus creating the situation in which everyone “must all be alike”. Now independent thought became rare and in some cases, socially unacceptable.
Technology not only affected their society as a whole, but it also affects Mildred and Montag’s life directly. Montag is a firefighter who serves the purpose of burning the books. One day he meets a girl named Clarisse. She had an “incredible power of identification” and states many ideas that make Montag question his lifestyle. Many people in their society reject Clarisse’s family because they go on walks and they have independent thoughts Montag became influenced by those traits and he often began to wonder, “why do we burn the books”? Montag even begins to notice how disconnected he was from his wife That is all because of the tv walls that she spends all of her time with.
Mildred even attempts to commit suicide more than one time, Every time Montag tries to tell her what she did she said, “I didn’t do that. Never in a billion years” (Bradbury 17). When Montag realizes how meaningless his life actually is, he began to collect some books After reading and receiving help from professor Faber he knows that mankind will learn from the mistakes of the past. Unlike the phoenix in Granger’s comparison to mankind, their society will learn not to repeat their past. Bradbury’s main message was that technology terminates individual thoughts or expressions so people become unwilling to accept the basic realities and unpleasant aspects of life. Beatty said that “a book is a loaded gun in the house next door”. Technology formed those thoughts so he feels that books cause emotional evil. Beatty also said that “fire is bright and fire is clean”.
The destructive power of fire is cleansing so he is one of most in his society that believes destroying the books is the answer. Montag was once stuck in the same sort of illusion but then he notices that “the sun burnt everyday”. Identity and purpose slowly returns to his life and he begins to experience stars and nature. Ray Bradbury uses Montag as a symbol of what could be if their society had the leisure to read books and freedom to act upon their ideas. Fahrenheit 451 is one of many novels that show the possible negative outcome of technology’s influence upon our society. In Bradbury’s novel about this possible outcome, all the knowledge that books hold is almost literally burned to ashes Therefor, Bradburry shows his readers how this poor, dystopian society is engineered by technology, how technology affects the characters in this society, and how he feels about the over usage of technology. Without knowledge from books, there would be no individuality.