Technology Sugarcoating The World Since 1953

1470 words - 6 pages

Today, technology controls almost everything we do, from the way we travel to what we eat. With the power of technology comes good and evil, medicines and poisons. Through technology, we have much more access to information than in previous decades. For example, every day you can absorb as much knowledge as King Henry the Eighth did in his entire life. This is access to enormous amounts of information is due to the improvement of technology. Sadly, technology also has a sinister side. With faster communication, enabled by today’s technology, rumors can be spread faster and kids can be bullied easier. Almost all teenagers have a cellphone that supplies them with daily ‘news’. Most of this ...view middle of the document...

One of the many ways our world is similar to the dystopian world of Fahrenheit 451 is in the way technology made normal relationships pale in comparison to the over-glorified, sugarcoated relationships in TV shows. Technology, especially for younger people, is the primary way to communicate in any relationship. However, technology makes real relationships seem meaningless and dull, just like Montag’s relationship with Mildred. Although they both don’t realize it, they are not in love with each other. When Clarisse tells Montag that he isn’t in love, “he [tries] to conjure up a face to fit the words, but there [is] no face” (22). Montag tries to say that he is in love with Mildred but he knows deep in his soul that their relationship is colder than the screen of Mildred’s ‘family’. Maybe they once loved each other, but technology morphs them into a meaningless pair. If their relationship were meaningful to Mildred, she wouldn’t have turned Montag in for having books. Mildred replaces Montag with her ‘parlor’ family just as people today will watch a sitcom or TV show instead of inviting someone over. They still feel like they have a conversation or a connection when in reality it is a one-sided relationship with a plastic screen. This is similar to the way Mildred feels when she gets a script for a ‘special’ part in her show: “They write the script with one part missing. It’s a new idea. The home-maker, that’s me, is the missing part… Isn’t that fun?” (20). She feels like she is a crucial part of this show but in reality she is saying pointless things like” I think that’s fine” and “I sure do”. Mildred has substituted this show for actual human relationships. She would rather be watching her shows than talking with Montag, her husband. Similarly, many people today use their phones as a way to get out of awkward or boring situations. If you are waiting at the doctor’s office most people are on their phones instead of actually talking to someone. Mildred takes this to the extreme when she completely replaces Montag with her ‘parlor family’ and turns Montag in for having books: “Poor family, poor family, oh everything’s gone, everything, everything gone now” (114). Ironically, she is complaining about her TV family, which she would not have lost if she cared for Montag. Mildred, like many people in our society, places ‘things’ before the important people in her live because she doesn’t realize that people are more important. They would rather be on their phones then having fun with friends. Through the view of Mildred, Ray Bradbury expresses that technology has led us to believe that the TV ‘relationships’ are better than actual relationships and are logical substitutes.

Another way that our world is similar to Fahrenheit 451 is the way that technology enabled the government to more effectively censor mass media. Today, technology allows everyone to access large amounts of government approved knowledge and in Fahrenheit 451, the also government...

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