Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” a futuristic fiction written in 1953, is a novel about the future society where people have limited personal freedom. It is a society where order and harmony are present at the expense of individual rights.
The main character, Guy Montag, a fireman whose job is burning books instead of putting out fires, realizes that people lead superficial lives and is willing to change that. It is almost impossible to find people who understand him and it is also the case with his wife who spends time watching television on the walls or listening to the radio.
This future society promotes ignorance. “Bradbury thinks that the presence of fast cars, loud music, and advertisements creates a lifestyle with too much stimulation in which no one has the time to concentrate” (SparkNotes Editors, 2007). Books are considered as a dangerous weapon which cannot bring anything good.
Television and radio provide superficial entertainment where people do not need concentration so they have replaced intellectual thought. Bradbury’s futuristic world includes and highlights the negative sides of technology. The most concerning is the fact that the government had forbidden reading books only when people stopped reading. It was their choice.
The novel is set in the 24th century, and it gives a frightening vision of the future. If we analyze our society we can easily find many similarities. Reality TV shows, loosing connections with real people and nature, sitting in front of screens, always looking for new facts, not stopping to analyze and think, less and less reading real books…We can say that the future has already come. Let us stop and think what is really valuable.
SparkNotes Editors.(2007). SparkNote on Fahrenheit 451. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/451/
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Fahrenheit 451 Genre. Retrieved May 23, 2016 from http://www.shmoop.com/fahrenheit-451/genre.html
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