Gattaca and Fahrenheit 451 - Technology and Dystopia

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“Analyse how the comparative study of your two texts has deepened your understanding of your composer’s contextual concerns”

Analyse: Identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications

Ray Bradbury and Andrew Niccol are both sci-fi/dystopian authors who have expressed concerns of the use of technology in the future. Ray Bradbury displays his contextual concerns about the destructive capabilities of technology in his book Fahrenheit 451, and Andrew Niccol in his film (based on his book) Gattaca. Both texts emphasise the potential destructive elements of technology on society by raising ethical questions and enforcing a strict technological control on society.

Utopia is a term used to describe a state or condition that is ideally perfect. It is a state that has the perfect respect of politics, laws, customs, beliefs, traditions and conditions. Dystopia is the contrary. In a Dystopian society a futuristic, imagined universe is under oppressive societal control and the illusion of perfect society is maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopian literature is far more impacting than Utopian literature however, because it makes a criticism about a societal norm, exaggerating it into a worst case scenario, creating a society which is somewhat related to reality but twisted.

Fahrenheit 451 is a novel about futuristic American society in which Montag is a fireman, but rather that dousing fires, he starts them. The people in Montag’s society do not read books, enjoy nature, spend time by themselves, think independently, or have meaningful conversations. Alternatively, they drive at speeds over 300 km/h, watch extreme amounts of television on wall-size television screens, and listen to the music and radio “Seashell Radio” sets that are constantly bombarding their ears with information. Montag’s aim is to rid society of the deadly and dangerous knowledge of literature by...
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