by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 Theme of Technology and Modernization
TV is the enemy in Fahrenheit 451. It’s responsible for replacing literature, intellectualism, and curiosity. On top of that, it’s become a substitute for family, friendship, and any sort of real conversation. Relationships? Pshhht, who needs those?
We learn that the TV reigns supreme in the future because of the "happiness" it offers. People are happier when they don’t have to think, or so the story goes. TV aside, technology is the government’s means of oppression, but also provides the renegade’s opportunity to subvert.
We wonder what Bradbury would have to say about smartphones.
Questions About Technology and Modernization
- Faber says that books can be beaten down with reason, but that TV overwhelms the senses and can not. Is he right? Does TV really deserve so much credit here?
- In the digitized, mechanical world of Fahrenheit 451, what makes something real? What’s more "real" – books or TV? Are either really substantive?
- What does Mildred mean when she calls the TV her "family"?
Chew on This
The restrictions on literature in Fahrenheit 451 represent the novel’s main concern : the perversion of the natural world by man’s use of technology.