ENTERTAINMENT V. ADDICTION
There is a definitive and quite distinct difference between wholesome, quality entertainment and addiction. In the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury very clearly states the variation among the two. Through his examples and characters in his story about a very realistic society, he expresses his opinions and almost foresees something quite relevant to society today. However, there will always be those select few who will recognize the worthlessness of mindless propaganda that seems to infect the minds of humankind.
Television takes a prominent role in the script of everyday life. Additionally, it takes an even larger role in the lives of the citizens of Bradbury’s metropolis. Actually, it is more of a brain cell cemetery. For example, Mildred, the main character’s (Montag’s) wife, is constantly bombarded with television and radio programs. In fact, three walls in the parlor of the couple’s home have been converted into giant television screens! For Mildred, however, this is not good enough. She whines that having a fourth wall installed would make her happy, and that she couldn’t possibly be happy without it. Her argument is that the installation would only be $2,000 and that in order to earn this money they could just “do without a few things”. This could be considered addictive, taking into account that she is willing to give up part of the way that she lives in order to further intoxicate her mind and make her even number to the world around her. And as a result of this constant flow of trivial nonsense into her system, she is made to feel as though she is thinking for herself, acting for herself, and having a wonderful time.
During the time that Ray Bradbury had written this book, television was a brand new invention. It was not too terribly popular yet, but he thought that it posed a problem. In Ray’s mind, people would be consumed by irrelevant and insignificant programs, which may become habit-forming as time progressed....
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