Ray Bradbury’s Representation of Addiction to Technology in Fahrenheit 451

May 18, 2022 by Essay Writer

In 1995, 0.4% of the population used the internet and as of December 2017 54.4% of the population now uses the internet. That is a 54% increase in just 22 years. Shocking, right? The growth of technology has a huge effect on the world today and there have been many positive outcomes from this; however, there have also been some negative effects from the advancement of technology. Ray Bradbury addresses this problem in his book Fahrenheit 451. In the book, Guy Montag, a fireman, lives in a city where their technology had advanced greatly. Due to the success of the technology, books are illegal and people are now expected to watch TV instead. The firemen burn any house that had a book inside of it. Many people in the book agree with this and think technology is the only way to live because they see all the improvements it has made on society, but there are many problems that come from all of this technology. From reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, there is a powerful message present due to the many similarities to our society today like our addiction to technology, how our perspective can be changed by the media, and our lack of knowledge due to technology.

First of all, Fahrenheit 451 and our society have on a major connection; our addiction to technology. Today people are consumed in the world of technology; in like manner, people are always watching TV in Fahrenheit 451. Montag, a lover of books, has a wife who is obsessed with TV and “No matter when he came in, the walls were always talking to Mildred”(Bradbury 42). Regardless of what is happening in the world, Mildred, Montag’s wife who is cold and distant, is always watching the TV, which is referred as “the walls”. Many others in Fahrenheit 451 are just like Mildred and are consumed to the TV. During the book, Mildred will often reference her family showing how she considers the family to be a part of her own because she is deeply attached to the show. Likewise, in today’s society, a numerous amount of people are absorbed by the TV and will spend many hours watching it a day Moreover, the obsession with technology is both a problem in Fahrenheit 451 and our society today.

Secondly, the media and TV can change our perspective on the world in both Fahrenheit 451 and our world today. After Montag reads the poem to Mrs.Bowls, Mrs.Phelps, and Mildred, three ladies who personify what is expected of the citizenry, Mrs. Bowls responded to Montag by saying “‘You see?… I knew it would happen! I’ve always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings, poetry, and sickness; all that mush! Now I’ve had it proven to me’”(Bradbury 97). The only way they find out what is going on in the world is through their TV, they have no other outlet to get their information. They cannot read or find information through books, so the TV will change their perspective on the world because of their love and trust for the object. Similarly, the media has a big influence on us today, through the shows, the news, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps we use. We will solely rely on what we hear. Continuing on that note, books not only change our perspective but can change who we are. Jessica Faucet, the writer of “How Books Can Change the World,” addresses this by saying “Books change people.They make people. They form who we are and who we will be”(2). Furthermore, in the novel’s world and our world the media and TV changes our perspective.

Lastly, while some researchers may say that Fahrenheit 451 does not have a powerful message because it does not connect with our society today. Moreover, they are different because of the obvious fact that books are banned in the novel, but not in our society today. Nevertheless, our world and the novel’s world share another similarity; our lack of knowledge due to technology. Today, instead of reading a book to find the answer to something we will look it up on the internet. Correspondingly, in Fahrenheit 451 they are banned from books, so their only source of knowledge is from the internet and TV. While Clarisse was describing how she did not like school, one of the things they do at school is “An hour of TV class”(Bradbury 27). They have an hour of TV class because of how big technology is in their society. In both worlds, our knowledge is limited because we do not need to memorize things or learn things as much as we need to when we did not have the technology. We rely so heavily on technology and we always count on the internet to have the answer to everything. In the novel’s world, everything they are taught is from the internet. During school, they do not read books, they will only learn from the internet. To sum up, technology is another issue that are world and the novel’s world share.

From reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, there is a powerful message present due to the many similarities to our society today: our addiction to technology, how our perspective can be changed by the media, and our lack of knowledge due to technology. This can be seen on a day-to-day basis. Instead of people communicating with others, they will be looking down at their phones; also, in school, the performance of kids has gone down because of the advancement of technology. Many issues are shown through technology and this creates a powerful message to all the readers.

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