The society shown in the book is highly conservative and is afraid of the government. People shown in this dystopian society are ignorant and they have lost their ability to think or to question. The government doesn’t want people to read books because books provoke thoughts and make people think and question.’ Fahrenheit 451’ was written in 1953 predicting the future of the American society where books would be illegal. Though this prediction was wrong and books are still legal but the main idea does actually reflect in our present society. People in general have stopped reading and are losing their ability to think. There is a lack of creativity. One of the main reasons behind people not reading books is due to the popularity of television, internet and media in general. According to the New Harris Poll an average adult user spends 24 hours or more on the internet each week. This is an alarming number because people are more into socializing on the internet rather than having real life interactions. This is exactly like the society in Fahrenheit 451 where the government has removed porches, front lawns and rocking chairs mainly because they don’t want people to socialize, think and talk.
Another reason why the society in ‘Fahrenheit 451’ resembles the modern world today is the total reliance on technology and computers. Humans have lost the ability to do simple straight forward tasks. People sit in front of the television kill time watching boring programs fed by the government. There is a lack of creativity and appreciation for nature. People are constantly being brainwashed through long advertisement boards as seen in the book. They are shown taking sleeping pills to relieve their stress and forget about their miserable state. This is exactly what is happening to people nowadays. There is a lot of stress and misery without actual happiness leading to mental health problems and depression. According to Health Canada and Statistics Canada, approximately 8% of adult Canadians will experience a major depression/anxiety at some point in their lives, and around 5% will in a given year. “Modern technology is affecting our sleep. The artificial light from TV and computer screens affects melatonin production and throws off circadian rhythms, preventing deep, restorative sleep.” Says David Volpi M.D (Otolaryngology surgeon)
The final reason why the present day society is similar to the society in ‘Fahrenheit 451’ is due to the lack of empathy and love in relationships. The protagonist Montag in the book is shown to have a shallow relationship with his wife. His wife is an unsupportive woman and leaves him when he needs her the most. This is exactly where the relationships these days are going. There are increased divorce rates. According to a research article on CBC News, 4 out of 10 first marriages end in divorce. Main reason for these divorces is stated to be alcohol and drugs. Montag’s wife is shown taking drugs frequently, she is addict.
All in all, the dystopian society in the novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’ is merely a reflection of the present society and social problems relating to it. Main reasons being, is the use of excess technology , lack of real life social interactions, not reading books that provoke thought , lack of empathy and love in relationships and people being more interested in being alone and watching T.V than having a real conversation with people.