Essay on Fahrenheit 451


Experts in literature place Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 on the same level with such famous 20th century dystopias as 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. In this essay on Fahrenheit 451, PurEssay writing company will focus on the novel as an example of a philosophical dystopia, touching upon the conflict between a human and technology.

The novel itself represents a thematically extended version of the narrative The Fireman, published in the Galaxy Science Fiction magazine in 1951. The work was devoted to those problems that, in the author’s opinion, the humanity would have to face in the future.

The setting of Fahrenheit 451

When describing the America of the third millennium (there is no specific reference to the date in the novel), Ray Bradbury uses the so-called method of extrapolation. It means that he shapes the image of the future relying on the existing tendencies. Allowing his fantasy to spill onto the paper, the writer creates an antimodel. He ponders over the fate of humanity and the future of the USA in particular.

However, many Fahrenheit 451 essay and article writers recognize in the descriptions the same America of the 20th century with its consumer culture, annoying advertisements in the subway and low-brow soap operas. All this is simply driven to extremity, to absurd: fire fighters no longer put out fire, but burn banned books. People who prefer to walk on foot rather than drive a car are considered insane. It is even prohibited to admire nature, and the slightest deviation from the established rules lead to cruel repressions.

Dystopian features

Severe censorship is one of the main features of a dystopian society, and we can easily find it in the novel. In Fahrenheit 451, it is books that are under censorship. If a person stores them in his home, then the house must be burned to the ground, and the violator gets arrested. Banning books, as the government sees it, is a way to protect the society from intellectual “upstarts”. Books, according to Captain Beatty, are very dangerous as they make people feel and think. If a person reads a book, he becomes knowledgeable, stands out and aspires to more. It is the other way round with television, that is why TV programs are highly appreciated by the government.

Another dystopian feature logically follows: people should be equal. It makes the government easier to implement their politics because nobody will be able to contradict it. Of course, every society must have its norms and laws in order to prevent chaos and excessive violence. But when the control becomes all-out, we start dealing with dystopia: in Bradbury’s world people could not even walk the streets because this behavior looked suspicious.

Every totalitarian regime has to think of effective propaganda, which in case of the novel becomes rather an example of brainwashing. Let’s, for instance, consider in this Fahrenheit 451 analysis essay the burning of houses. This show takes place only at night, when the flames are clearly visible to everyone. Citizens find the fire magnificent and beautiful, failing to comprehend that behind the scene there is somebody’s life falling to pieces. This unnatural attitude is the result of thorough propaganda.

Technology in the novel

Now let’s look at the work from a technological point of view, as our writing team would do if you ordered from PurEssay a Fahrenheit 451 technology essay. Bradbury’s imagination invented numerous appliances that were unreal and futuristic in 1953, when the novel was written, but they look completely normal and even casual for a modern reader.

  • A TV wall is one of the favorite ways to entertain herself for Mildred. People in Bradbury’s world are fond of this interactive television, which allows them to feel their importance by adding a word or two to a show. Mildred already has three TV walls, but she is eager to install the fourth one. This obsession gets the woman into trouble: one day, probably feeling useless and miserable, she attempts a suicide.

  • The Mechanical Hound is a tool that firemen use to track violators. It is a terrible robotic dog with eight legs that can flawlessly distinguish people’s smell. As the monster is not a human being, it has neither emotions nor pity. In Fahrenheit 451 it represents a blind power that crashes everything on its way.

  • Seashells are another Bradbury’s invention, which nowadays would not surprise anyone. Using these earbuds, one could immerse in the world of radio broadcast and forget about reality. Seashells are one more pastime to Mildred, who prefers to listen to these tiny electronic bees than to her husband.

  • Banks with robots instead of human tellers bear a surprising resemblance to modern ATMs, although back in the 1950s nobody could imagine using such services.

  • Medicine experiences some breakthroughs, too. Thus, when Montag’s wife takes an overdose of sleeping pills, an electronic-eyed snake helps to drink up all the poison accumulated in the body. We may deduce that poisonings are typical for the times described in the novel if scientists felt the need to invite such a machine. It is no wonder taking into consideration the lifestyle people are forced to lead.

Authors of essays on Fahrenheit 451 tend to agree that the message from Ray Bradbury is unambiguous: future belongs to moral values and human intellectual work rather than to technology. We come to this conclusion if we interpret the ending of his novel. Volunteers united and memorized banned books to restore the pieces of precious knowledge that was previously destroyed by the government. No technological equipment could do this most important thing.

So, our essay writing company supplied you with one more work on a popular topic. Now you know what makes Fahrenheit 451 still stand out more than half a century after the novel was written. In our Fahrenheit 451 essay questions touched upon were the setting of the novel, its dystopian features and technological contrivances. The book describes a dystopian society under the rule of a totalitarian regime. Most people have lost their identity and become selfless creatures without any ambitions apart from devouring news from TV walls and portable radios. Ray Bradbury managed to invent a lot of devices that do not sound weird today, although they were incomprehensible when the book came out. The message of the author could not be clearer: we should not forget that we are humans.

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