Fahrenheit 451 Essay
In the book Fahrenheit 451 the character we follow, Guy Montag, a firefighter, has a job that revolves around people who are breaking the laws, reading books. In the future, a world is portrayed where people have lost a lot of their freedoms and with that, they also lost their sense of happiness and free will as well. At the same time technology has advanced so much, much further than humanity itself.
In Fahrenheit 451 technology is portrayed as such an advanced level. One example is Mildred's walls, a very advanced cyber companion, the walls that are like TVs can replace walls in a room to create a virtual environment creating a more evolving form of entertainment (Pg 20). These walls combine today's flat screen T.V. and Advanced A.I, and with the current advancement in modern technology, I feel like we're not far off. (On Pg 24) We later learn that a conversation involving books was heard by these walls and was reported to the police, as said by Beatty )on page 117). This kind of invasion of privacy is similar to what is presumed to be done in current days smart devices such as Amazon's Alexa. Later on, we learn of the mechanical hound, how it “lived but did not live” how it was an advanced piece of technology that was meant to detain and capture targets, again we're not quite there but similar robots are being made, such as Boston Dynamics. Another quite surprising moment comes up (on page 14) when Mildred overdoses on her medication and is dead for some time until a team with a “Snake” machine comes in and replaces all of her blood, restoring her back to health. Exchange transfusion is a similar technique that does the same thing but a full transfusion such as this has only been done on infants.
The removal of books, plays the major role of censorship in Fahrenheit 451, we learn (on pages 57 and 59) that the writing; including and about minorities were often disliked. Instead of trying to get the minorities to change their beliefs the easier option seems to be was the ridding of the thing that was causing them the trouble, the books. The once entertainment is replaced with upfront quickly moving entertainment like that is shown on the walls in witch Mildred watches. A good quote sums it up well, connecting it with today In the interview with Ray Bradbury “One thing people sometimes forget about Fahrenheit 451 is that the government doesn't begin by burning books-it's ordinary people who turn away from reading and the habits of thought and reflection it encourages. When the government starts actively censoring information most people don't even bat an eye how important is reading to the health of a democracy like ours” (pg 183) This is very relevant to today's generation-z in particular. With new technological advances and inventions being made constantly people “don't have enough time to read books” and would rather spend time using technology like Mildred. We haven't been reading our books because technology has allowed us to not need them.
An issue Guy faces throughout the book is about what happiness means to him and what should cause it. Early in the Book Guy meets a teenage girl named Clarisse, who has a free spirit and wanted to know why not just what. Beatty, Guy’s fire chief, forces the ideas that “She didn't want to know how a thing was done but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask why a lot of things and you end up very unhappy indeed if you keep at it. the poor girl’s better off dead” (Page 60). She does indeed end up dead as suggested (on page 47) by Mildred when Guy brought her up in conversation. Mildred is on the other side of the spectrum where most people are, satisfied with their lives. Lives enforced by the police hinted to by Beatty when he said “Remember, Montag, were the happiness boys” (on page 61), a world with enforced happiness by the ones who also control the censorship of the world, “protecting them”. Today's version though much calmer exists, through biases and difference of beliefs. People who are different are shunned, like all time, but a similar note, is shown in media, that when someone has a different opinion everyone just assumes that their opinion is invalid and should be changed, instead of seeing it in their shoes, showing empathy.