The novel “Fahrenheit 451” written by Ray Bradbury in 1953 is set in the future and is a future dystopia. A future dystopia is an imaginary society that is as dehumanising and as unpleasant as possible. A future dystopia has 5 main features which are: post-apocalyptic, issuing a warning to society, one character awakening, technology used as a form of control and impingement on an individuals freedom. The book is titled “Fahrenheit 451” because paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit. I believe that technology used as a form of control and one character awakening are the main features of the book and what has caused the major change in future society.
Technology, used as a form of control, was present throughout the book several times and one of the first times was when the reader was introduced to the mechanical hound at the fire house. “The mechanical hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house.” The mechanical hound is used as a weapon as well as a resource to help find books and if needed execute people. The advanced technology is definitely used as a form of control, giving the fire fighters the upper hand when trying to track down books and pursue Montag. “Nose so sensitive the mechanical hound can remember and identify ten thousand odour indexes on ten thousand men without resetting!” This technology makes it near impossible for people to hide books in their homes. This is the reason why Montag got caught therefore it stops people from trying to hide books and breaking the law. Everybody was intimidated by the mechanical hound “He could feel the hound, like autumn, coming cold and dry and swift, like a wind that didn’t stir the grass, that didn’t jar windows or disturb leaf shadows on the white sidewalks as it passed. The hound did not touch the world. It carried it’s silence with it, so you could feel the silence building up pressure behind you all across town.” The mechanical hound is a weapon of fear made with advanced technology that helps the government control society.
In “Fahrenheit 451” there is a new generation of firefighters, who now light books on fire along with the house they are in “with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history” This is the opening sentence in the novel where the author is comparing kerosene with python venom, while fire fighter Guy Montag fuels the fire with kerosene to burn the unwanted books. This was just a usual day for a fire fighter, “he would feel the fiery smile still gripped to his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never went away, as long as he remembered.” Montag loved his job being a firefighter but never really thought much about why they burn the books until he met the young girl, Clarisse. Clarisse asked Montag interesting questions like “Do you mind if I ask? How long you’ve worked at being a fireman?” “Since I was twenty, ten years ago.” “Do you ever read any of the books you burn?” This then made Montag think a lot about what the government is trying to do and led to his awakening. We find out that Montag is really intrigued by what Clarisse has asked him and has really taken on the things Clarisse has said from the quote “and then, very slowly, as he walked, he tilted his head back in the rain, for just a few moments, and opened his mouth…” Montag did this because Clarisse said “I like to put my head back. like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth.” This was the turning point for Montag after being influenced by Clarisse.
Near the end of the book technology was used as a form of control again when the government was trying to track down Montag with the drone. Back when “Fahrenheit 451” was written in 1953 there was no technology like a drone around. The government could use the drone to film the mechanical hound in pursuit of Montag’s trail. The government then could put the live feed onto television meaning the whole city could then watch Montag getting chased. This was a major form of control because they then could use everybody watching tv to help find Montag. This could also play into Montag’s hands “Would he have time for a speech? As the hound seized him, in view of ten or twenty or thirty million people, mightn’t he sum up his entire last week in single phrase or word that would stay with them long after the hound had turned, clenching him in it’s metal-plier jaws.” With this new advanced technology having the drone film every step of the hound is also a weakness for the government, possibly giving Montag a brief few seconds to warn the rest of society. At this stage in the book very few characters have awoken to what is going on because they have been blinded by the virtual reality parlour. These parlours in a way have seduced the general public by giving them fake news acting as a distraction, making them not think about what is really going on in their lives.
In the text “Fahrenheit 451” written by Ray Bradbury in 1953, Ray is issuing a warning to the public which makes this novel a future dystopia. “Fahrenheit 451” has two main features of a future dystopia which are one character awakening and technology used as a form of control, the whole novel is evolved around these two features. We were shown characters awakening throughout the whole book starting off with Montag and Clarisse. After Montag’s awakening he then was against the governments rules which is what the whole book is evolved around. Secondly we were shown technology used as a form of control several times throughout the book with the virtual reality parlours, the mechanical hound and drones. These three items of advanced technology are what controlled the public making the government a lot stronger and helping them hide what they did not want everybody to find out. Having a very powerful and ruling government like this is not what we would like to happen in the future to our society, this is the reason Ray Bradbury wrote the book to issue a warning to our modern day society.
What I need to do:
- name the point ray is trying to make
- explain how he uses, the featurs to make that point with examples
- connect this to our worl d