Fahrenheit 451: Isolation in the Modern Era of the Internet

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, whether if you had read it or not, you most likely know the plot and have a general idea of what the novel is about, as the movie of the novel came out last year starring the Michael B Jordan. This novel described a future society where books are banned by the government, and firemen who used to put out fire now start fire on books. Anyone caught with books will have their house burned along with their books. Fahrenheit 451 was published by Ray Bradbury in 1953, and throughout the novel, he made multiple predictions of what society in the future would look like. Including ideas such as books being outlawed and burned, a typical person spends so much time on TV (parlor walls) that he/she calls people in the TV “family”. Although some of these ideas could seem ridiculous and our society isn’t even close to the point where the government start to burn books, the theme expressed through these ideas of people getting disconnected from the world. Which lead to them stops reading because they are getting too deep into technology isn’t really too far from us. Through the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray bradbury is warning us who live in the age of internet how isolated, meaningless, and shallow the life of our society is becoming as technologies advances and the internet takes control of our lives.

In the future society of Fahrenheit 451, everyone lived a very fast paced life and started to lose their value over time. As described in the novel, drivers go so fast they “don’t know what grass is, or flowers because they never see them slowly,” Clarisse said “If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! He’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows.” Showing that people are growing to be more impatient and always in a rush. Which can also be seen in our society today, people demanded for not only fast cars but also other faster technologies, faster phones, faster computers, faster wifi… We want things to take less time to complete as we are more impatient than before. Living in this type of lifestyle, books started to seem too slow and boring compared to new media technologies available. In fahrenheit 451, people prefered the parlor screens (TV) instead of reading. Mildred, the protagonist Montag’s wife, is bonded to the parlor screens and can’t live without it. And the parlor screen have replaced real life relationship with actual people. In the novel Montag sees this happening in Mildred and asked her “‘Will you turn the parlor off?” and she replied“That’s my family.” Demonstrating how Mildred and other “typical” citizens are bonded to technologies such as the parlor that they even refuse to have any conversations or relationships with their family.

Calling entertainment your family may sound may sound ridiculous in our society, but really our lives aren’t that different. The people in our TV such as celebrities and TV how characters have also became our “family” in some way. We spend lots of time with them, quote them, and aspire to be like them. For some people, their “family” in TV plans their life, they create their schedule base on when and what TV shows are playing. While having such a close relationship with their “family” in TV, people are losing opportunities of having closer relationships with ones around them, including family and neighbors. Through this idea in Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury is warning us if we get to bonded to technologies, we will lose real life relationships with people around us and become very isolated. Spreading the message to spend less time with “family” in the screens, so you can put in more time and effort to have a relationship with your actual family.

In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred lived a very unfulfilling life due to the fact that she didn’t have any connection or relationship with anyone “real”, all she had was her “family” in her parlor. Being bonded for hours everyday to the parlor walls, Mildred didn’t have anything to live for and had no motivation to accomplish anything. Because of her unfulfilling life Mildred had to go through everyday, she had attempted suicide by trying to overdose on sleeping pills. The parlor walls were the only thing she had, and Mildred used it as an outlet to try to numb herself and escape her life. This lifestyle where a person gets completely disconnected from the world is considered a typical person’s life in fahrenheit 451. Indeed, a society like this is a scary place to live in, but our society today does have some similarities, and shows hints of heading towards the same direction. As technologies continues to advance today, people are becoming more and more reliable on them. Phones, computers, and other electronics are now essentials in our lives. It’s not yet to the point where everyone is addicted and that’s the only thing they lived for, but our society is developing towards that direction.

An average American spend about 11 hours a day on screens, and that number is only rising every year (Fottrell 2018). Life with no purpose often leads to addictions and is very dangerous, for Mildred, she used TV as an outlet which didn’t have a big impact on her health and body. However, others could have chosen drugs and alcohol which are very harmful to their health if they are addicted to them. Through Mildred’s lifestyle, Bradbury is warning us by being too attached to technologies such as TV and phones, you could lose your purpose of life by becoming addicted to these technologies. Making you not passionate in anything, lose motivation in accomplishing anything, therefore living a meaningless life.

In our society today, people love to keeping up with what’s happening whether through social media or the news articles on the internet. Reading things on social media makes us feel cultured and smart, but in reality knowing all those facts and news does not make us any more intelligent. As Bradbury writes on page of Fahrenheit 451, “Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.” Through this quote Bradbury tells us that in order to truly become more intelligent, you have to dig deeper than the facts itself. You have to be able to connect these information and use these connections to help you solve real world problems. Which is what philosophy and sociology does, these field of studies help us better understand ourselves, others around us, and the environment around us. Sociology helps us understand the social conditions in our world, helping us to find solutions in our society. Both of these studies allows us to use critical thinking to solve problem, which is what you need to become truly intelligent. As Faber said to Montag when Montag said books was what was missing in their society, “It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.” Through this idea in Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury demonstrated it is the ability to make connection and critical thinking that’s important to the development of our society. The way our society today only seeks for facts is too shallow, Bradbury warns us that simply knowing facts will not help us move forward as a society.

In conclusion, the novel Fahrenheit is significant to us who live in the age of internet because it warns us about how isolated, meaningless, and shallow the life of our society is becoming as technologies advances and the internet takes control of our lives. Knowing these flaws that are forming and occuring in our society, we could help to prevent them by taking our own action. We live in a society today where knowledge is not restricted, it is the people who prevents them self from acquiring these knowledge by being too attached to technologies and the internet. Our world is filled with knowledge, it’s for you to decide if you want to find them.

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