Commentary on Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel about a futuristic community that has lost the ability to socially interact with one another. Guy Montag is the average citizen. His profession is a fireman, except in this society firemen don’t prevent fires, they start them. His job, like many other firemen, is to illuminate books by burning them because books are illegal. Over the course of Fahrenheit 451, Montag realizes society and its faults. Bradbury uses Montag to depict technology and censorship as examples of warning signs, and how that society could one day become ours.

Bradbury criticizes technology through the characters; Mildred, Mrs. Bowles, and Mrs. Phelps (society). Mildred is Montag’s wife. ‘Millie’ sits around all day and watches mindless TV in her parlor. Mildred has Mrs. Bowles and Mrs. Phelps come over to watch a TV show. “Abruptly the room took off on a rocket flight into the clouds, it plunged into a lime-green sea where blue fish ate red and yellow fish. A minute later, Three White Cartoon Clowns chopped off each other’s limbs to the accompaniment of immense incoming tides of laughter. Two minutes more and the room whipped out of town to the jet cars wildly circling an arena, bashing and backing up and bashing each other again. Montag saw a number of bodies fly in the air.” (page 94) The three women react in a way of complete excitement watching fish being eaten, clowns severing body parts, and people brutally killing each another with cars. Like most people; Mildred, Mrs. Bowles, and Mrs. Phelps are perfect victims of violence from technology. On page 30, Clarisse explains to Montag about school and what kids do for recreation. “… head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windowpanes in the Window Smasher place or wreck cars in the Car Wrecker place with the big steel ball. Or go out in the cars and race on the streets, trying to see how close you can get to the lampposts, playing ‘chicken’ and ‘knock hubcaps.’…...
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