Society in Fahrenheit 451

Although living in a society that wasn’t much advanced in technology at the time, Bradbury did an astonishing job in predicting modern society and culture. Although it doesn’t seem very apparent to us, there are many key similarities between what Bradbury wrote about in Fahrenheit 451 and the “free” society we think we live in. Particularly relevant are the topics of censorship, isolation, and government control. Nowadays, it is a common conception that we have freedom of the press and of speech, but can we really say that, when a French cartoonist makes use of these rights but gets killed along with his colleagues? This recent case of slaughter because of something different being exploited is equivalent to what happened in Bradbury’s society.

People that were “different”, meaning that they were trying to exploit the truth, were considered a threat to society. If let free, they would stimulate the thoughts of the people, and possibly make them unhappy. Here we see the hypocrisy of the human race. From the early Greek philosophers, humans have always been in search of the truth, but now they are suddenly denying it because it could hurt them. Isolation is another big issue of our society. It seems that technological development is inversely proportional to the density of human relationships. Especially the internet has become a double-edged sword. While it is certainly useful for the amount of information one can find, it all depends on how the information is used.

The phenomena of social networks make people think that they’re connected, while they’re actually alone. They sit behind a screen, trying to boost their virtual reputation by posting some quotes whose meanings they probably don’t even understand. Sadly, this was also predicted by Bradbury, especially referring to Mildred. In fact, she is so isolated to think of the people airing on the TV as her family and to not even remember where she met her husband..

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