Fahrenheit 451 and the Future
In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury shows how the modern way of living will eventually alter life on earth completely. In the present, everyone is always moving and do not stop to look and enjoy things. Cars are always advertised based on their speed, because that is the only thing people want; everyone always wants the fastest phone or computer, all for the sole reason of being faster than anyone else. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury portrays our hunger for speed through the way people in his futuristic society behave on the highway. “If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! He’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur? That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses.
Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn’t that funny?” (Bradbury, 6). Although at the moment it may seem ridiculous to get sent to jail for driving forty miles per hour, if we continue to let the desire for speed to keep driving us it may not seem all that ridiculous in the future.
We are accepting it as completely “normal” to sit in front of the television and not interact with other humans for hours on end. Television producers are always making shows out of something, and you can find a show about pretty much anything. Reality shows- which, ironically, are anything but reality- are extremely popular at the moment. In fact, it may as well one day turn into something like Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games. “It’s really fun. It’ll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed.
How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth wall-TV put in? It’s only two thousand dollars.” (18). Parents don’t pay attention to what their kids watch anymore; they just sit them in front of the television as if it were a babysitter, so they can get work done. Kids are beginning to think that they should just watch television when they are bored, and that isn’t the case. This is one of the reasons they say America is the fattest country, and we need to change the way our kids look at television. It should be considered a treat, rather than something they are allowed to take advantage of.
As a society, we are becoming more and more antisocial. People are always on their phones, texting or emailing friends and family. We do not really see people face to face anymore, or in real life; there is always a screen between them, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of miles. For example, teenagers spend most of their time on Facebook talking to friends, but they don’t hang out after school. You could probably even talk to your family members, who are in the same house, without ever leaving your room.
“The psychiatrist wants to know why I go out and hike around in the forests and watch the birds and collect butterflies. I’ll show you my collection one day” (20). Like Montag, a lot of people only leave the house when it is absolutely necessary; there are even websites to deliver groceries, so, if you wanted, you would not have to go out and interact with other people. Fifty or sixty years ago, people would visit neighbors and talk in the afternoons, and that’s how it ought to be instead of going online to IM. Fahrenheit 451 is trying to show us how the way we live now will affect us in the future.
If we keep depending on technology and do not question things, it will be easier for other people, like the government, to control us. Our society is slowly becoming less and less intelligent because we depend so much on technology. Children are being taught to use iPads and computers in elementary school, and they are also taught math using a calculator. If we keep being so dependent on technology, the human brain will eventually be useless to us. Our generation has to change, or we may suffer the consequences.