Study Guide

Dandelion Wine Technology and Modernization

By Ray Bradbury

Technology and Modernization

It was no great secret that Bradbury was skeptical of technology, and that skepticism shows through in Dandelion Wine. Remember that this book was written in the 1950s, when people were terrified of the atomic bomb, and that newfangled rock 'n' roll music was always blaring from those newfangled televisions.

The world was changing quickly, and when the characters in Dandelion Wine try to make sense of technology, that's Bradbury doing the same. Machinery in this book comes in a solid second place to actual human relationships; Dandelion Wine is nothing if not a meditation on the value of family and friends.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. Leo Auffmann feels that man and machine have never gotten along well. Can you think of an instance in which they have? Are there moments in the book in which they do?
  2. How might the residents of Green Town have viewed technology differently if they could have seen the ways medical machinery now helps us live past the age of 50? In other words, what is the correlation between mortality and modernization in this book? 
  3. Obviously, Mr. Auffmann's Happiness Machine is impossible to create given the technology of the time. Why did Bradbury choose to insert such an impossible machine in the middle of an otherwise realistic narrative?

Chew on This

In <em>Dandelion Wine</em>, characters seek out technology as a way of combatting the unpredictability of their human lives.

<em>Dandelion Wine</em> argues that human life is predictably unpredictable—we don't know when certain things (like death) will happen, but we know what the options are—whereas technology is a total wild card.

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