Utopia through Materials?
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about a materialistic society that has forgotten social interaction with each other. This materialistic society is where Bradbury believed society today is headed. The materialistic society in Fahrenheit 451 created through Bradbury’s cynic views of society. His views of society are over-exaggerated in contrast with today’s events, especially in the areas of censorship and media mediocrity.
The purpose of media is quite simple, it is as Carl Jensen describes it, “a warning signal--information--that alerts the citizens that something is wrong which needs attention and resolution. An aware and informed populace could then influence its leaders to act upon that information in an effort to solve that problem” (Jensen, Project Censored). But Media has often been criticized for promoting a mass mediocrity, because it only tells the public what it wants to hear. The idea of Media promoting mass mediocrity is a reoccurring image in Fahrenheit 451. Such is not the case in today’s society. One of the most successful freedom fighting campaign has been the Tibetan Freedom Concert, a rock concert where artists and citizens converge, sharing their views for Tibetan freedom from Chinese oppression. Over the three years of its existence, the concert has generated so much publicity that it has forced President Bill Clinton to step in and try to hasten the negotiation between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama. In a Sonicnet Music News article, the Dalai Lama said: “’Through this live show, many, many Chinese will have gained a better awareness of President Clinton’s feelings about Tibet, and also President Jiang’s feelings, and I think that can be enormously helpful in the long run.’” (Media Inclusion 1) The Dalai Lama expresses the importance of publicity that has first been generated by the Tibetan Freedom Concert. Not only...
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