Alexandra Wollenman ENG 350 10/14/13 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was published in 1953, during a time when science fiction was not a popular genre in literature, bur rather a “minor cult following. ” Although Bradbury did not consider himself a fantasy literature writer, Fahrenheit 451 takes the reader to an imaginary world, and is considered to be a science fiction novel. Bradbury uses technology, such as the hound, to impart a watchful eye on the public and burn books for the destruction of the creative mind on written paper.
Bradburys writing style shows the reader that many of the characters are almost robotic like due to the government control; he uses many repetitive statements and emotionless conversations, such as between Millie’s and her friends. Bradbury takes the reader to a “big brother” like world, and proves it’s science fiction genre through it’s dystopian theme, futuristic setting, emotionless characters, such as Millie, technological terrorists, such as robotic hounds, and an environment that supports no individuality through the burning of books.
A theme of complete dystopia is exemplified throughout the novel and takes the reader to a world of totalitarian government that pushes for no individuality. Bradbury writes of a world that individualism and written expression is completely banished due to government rule. A robotic feel is given to character’s thoughts, Bradbury writing style gives many of the characters emotionless personalities and even their thoughts are expressed in short thoughtless fragments. “One drop of rain. Clarisse. Another drop.
Mildred. A third. The uncle. A fourth. The fire tonight. One Clarisse. Two. Mildred. (pg 15). ” Montags mind for the first time in his life is trying to think, and come out fragmented. Montag fears his own thoughts and continues to try to push them out of his mind, trying to count them away. The mechanical hound is a constant reminder to the public that any choices trying to express freedom, through reading, or conversing with family, or taking a walk to think, are all being watched by the hound.
Montag is reminded of this when trying to read a book and hears the huffing f the hound under his door “under the doorsill, a slow, probing sniff, an exhalation of electric steam (pg 68). ” This government control has caused a society full of non- thinking, emotionless characters that are bred to fear books and deep thought. Bradbury is forewarning the world what can happen when technology takes over personal relationships. The characters in the book lack personal freedom and are thus not introduced to any emotional strain or do not have to ever think for themselves.
Millie and her friends are an example of the stereotypical woman in the Fahrenheit 451. The women are surrounded by wall size televisions that are programmed to show colorful presentations and programs that cause the women to interact with the television characters without thought, simply saying yes or no when told. The government has pushed these televisions on society to ensure thoughtless evenings amongst the household, and to remove any personal conversations or world of no personal conversations, and no deeply emotional relationships, such as love for your child.
Conversations are replaced by televisions “Real” relationships may ead to sadness or anger towards others and this society is free of negative emotion. Rather than love towards a family member, or spouse, the love is replaced toward technology. “Books aren’t people. You read and I look around, but there isn’t anybody!… my family is my people. They tell me things; I laugh, they laugh! And the colors! (pg 69). ” Millie, being a stereotypical example of the rest of society, has her personal connection with her television family more than her own husband. More time is spent talking with the television than with own family members.
People in this orld do not associate books or writing with author’s thoughts, or creative minds, but rather see books as drawing up negative emotions. ” IVe always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings… (pg. 97)” The women do not see writings as seeing into an author’s perspective, but rather see it has an upset to their day. Bradbury is showing the world what can happen to emotion, it will be removed completely, when the world is forced to not think for us, and relationships are replaced by relationships with technology.
Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a world here none of the characters attempt to leave their comfort zone emotionally nor physically. The town members do not leave the town’s limits unless it is on the roadways going at high speeds. The characters have no sense of nature of the world outside their homes. “If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes,” he’d say, that’s grass. (pg 6). ” Clarisse makes this statement to Montag and it can be thought that the world is in high-speed motion. No one goes outside for walks or explores nature, so no one really knows what flowers or grass looks like.
At the end of the novel when Montag is running past the town limits, he is introduced to walking amongst nature for the first time. “And the other smells! There was a smell of a cut potato from the land; there was a smell of pickles from a bottle, and smell of parsley on the table at home. There was a faint yellow odor like mustard from the Jar. There was a smell of carnations from the yard next door (pgl 38). ” All these smells Montage smells he does not relate to plants in nature, but in situations from his home, such as store-bought mustard and homegrown cultivated flowers.
Members of society do not understand ature and Bradbury is trying to warn the reader to slow down and breathe in the fresh air before losing sight of the world around us. Bradbury writes Fahrenheit 451 in a time before cell phones, laptop and Facebook, and could still see even then how many technology can take over a society. Bradbury is warning the world of a dystopia future if changes are not made to preserve our literature and written culture. The novel depicts a dystopian world caused by control of technology and Bradbury hopes to encourage the reader towards using their creative mind and preserving the written world.