Technology In Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'

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Technology is turning human empathy into apathy . Technology is turning awareness into blindness. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a thought-provoking novel about censorship, conformity, and how technology can take over lives. Montag is a firefighter, but in his world firefighters burn books. Montag meets a young girl named Clarisse and discovers that something is missing from his life of conformity. Montag’s wife, Mildred, is addicted to her parlor, a room with television walls, and is a representative member of their world. Montag soon decides that books hold the message to what is missing from his life because they are the only thing he can see is missing. In Fahrenheit 451, through his comparison of the aware and kind-hearted Clarisse …show more content…
Consequently, Clarisse is very different from other teens in the novel because she does not get sucked in by technology. For example, she says, “I’m afraid of people my own age. They kill each other. Did it always use to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks”(27). Everyone else in the community accepts the deaths of teens due to technology, which causes a lack of awareness, but Clarisse is aware that these deaths could be prevented and she feels sadness about them. Others see her as strange, but Montag sees her as aware and not obsessed with technology. Unlike most people in her community she is not glued to the television, she even says, “I rarely watch the ‘parlor walls’...So I’ve lots of time for crazy thoughts, I guess”(7). Clarisse does not waste her time watching the parlor walls, but rather, spends time noticing the things that everyone else is too busy to see. When Montag first encounters Clarisse, he notices, “Her face was slender and milk-white, and in it was a gentle kind of hunger that touched over everything with tireless curiosity”(3). Montag uses the word white many times to describe Clarisse, and white is associated with being pure and innocent. He has never spoken to her, but the pensive look on her face tells him that she has lots of thoughts and in therefore …show more content…
She lacks the ability to have emotions and this causes her to be detached and apathetic. In a world where technology takes precedent, Mildred flourishes in a community that she believes loves her, her televisions. When Montag is sick in bed, he asks, “Will you turn the parlor off?”(46) and Mildred responds by saying, “That’s my family”(46). Mildred is so absorbed by technology that she will not even turn off the television for her sick husband, technology has taken away her ability to express emotions natural to humans. She would rather talk with her ‘family’ than help her real relatives. In addition to making her apathetic, technology has taken such a grasp on her life that Mildred can no longer differentiate between the physical and the technological world, she has lost all awareness. Once Montag discovers that something is missing from his life he asks, “Does your ‘family’ love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?”(73). Millie is so disconnected from Montag that she does not even know what real love is anymore. She perceives love as getting a fourth wall in the parlor when that is just temporary happiness. The first description that Montag gives of Mildred describes her “stretched on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body displayed on the lid of a tomb”(10) he continues on to says, “Her face was like a

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