Compare and Contrast Society with F451
"Why do we have to read books? They seem so useless and boring, and do not have anything to do with real life." This is a common statement made by kids today. The fact is that many books written years ago parallel modern life or teach lessons for generations to come. One case of this is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. In this novel, Bradbury presents the reader with a twilight zone of what society could be like if books were illegal and the main purpose in life were personal happiness. The story follows the character of Montag as he finds out the importance of what books have to say, and goes on an adventure, trying to find happiness.
The society in Fahrenheit 451 is similar in many ways to modern society. If we are not fully there yet, we certainly are on our way there. Censorship is a common practice today. On television, networks often edit movies to make them more appropriate. On the other hand, shows aired on television today gear towards peoples' likes and dislikes; what shows appeals to a person's pleasure seeking side. Pleasure does seem to be the main thing pushed today. With the growing technology, more and more people are glued to their television screens. Children today love to watch TV and play video games. Parents often give their children these things in order to keep them out of their "hair." Kids do not respect books or what they contain; they would much rather go see a movie, watch TV, or play games on the computer. We see a much lesser family atmosphere today. Many families do not even gather to have dinner together, or talk. Divorces are popular in today's society, and many women have abortions. These are all factors present in Bradbury's novel.
However, our society still is different from the book. Although there is a lot of censorship going on, and children do not like reading, books are not illegal and are respected by many. Libraries are present in many towns and cities. Still, we are getting to a point where books are not as needed as they used to be. People can access information and stories on the internet for no cost at all, and many schools have made a partial transformation to videos teaching children, and computers being available in every classroom to students. Also, there is censorship, although it is not as tight and strict as in the novel. In the novel, people do not have or accept feelings; they just want to be happy. Even with all the similarities, people in modern society have feelings other than happiness and pleasure. Our houses, also, are not fire proof, and fire men work to put out fires, not start them.
From these similarities and differences, we see that Fahrenheit 451 came close to depicting what modern society is like; we can only imagine what it will be like in the future. Books, like this one, offer lessons and stories that can help us go through life. The story of Fahrenheit 451 is a way that society could be in the future; its story alone answers the question of why books are so important. "The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together in one garment for us…. Books have quality." Faber, Part Two, The Sieve and the Sand, Page 83, Fahrenheit 451.
Comparing Fahrenheit 451 and Modern American Society
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Fahrenheit 451: Similarities to American Society
Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction book that still reflects to our current world. Bradbury does a nice job predicting what the world would be like in the future; the future for his time period and for ours as well. The society Bradbury describes is, in many ways, like the one we are living in now.
We are always demanding more advanced machinery, and from the past, we have grown into a much more technological society. Lately, more and more people not only want more technology, they want them to be quicker. Things such as quicker computers, quicker connections to the internet, better cell phone connections, pagers, cars with more power, voice mail, palm pilots, etc. are in greater demand. People don't want to waste time anymore. We want things done quicker without as much effort. We want things to take less time to do them so we can have more time for other things. Their society is exactly like ours. Besides having advanced technological machines, they also have much larger speed limits, so people could get where they want a lot faster. Clarisse and Montag make it obvious to the reader that they live in a fast-paced world when they first meet each other. Before Clarisse runs into her house, they notice how fast drivers go that they "'don't know what grass is, or flowers because they never see them slowly,' she said. 'If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he'd say, that's grass! A pink blur! That's a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour and they jailed him for two days'"(9). Their speed limit is so high that everything that they see seems like blurs. They never see objects; they only see colors. Our speed limit isn't as high as theirs is, but people usually go much faster than the speed limit is.
Another reason their society reflects the one we live in is that the people there are becoming more and more violent towards each other. Clarisse tells Montag that she's "afraid of children my own age. They kill each other... Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I'm afraid of them and they don't like me because I'm afraid" (30).
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Comparing Fahrenheit American Society Speed Limit Other Things Speed Limits Rose Garden Many Ways Cell Phone
They even have a Window Smasher place and a Car Wrecker place where children can go and smash windows or reck cars instead of ruining cars or windows of people in the city. In our society, one can't turn on the television without hearing about a teenager shooting another teenager or teenagers going on a rampage and shooting in local school. Kids in your society are just as dangerous as the kids in Clarisse's society.
The society we live in now is a reflection of the society in which Bradbury wrote about in Fahrenheit 451. They are technologically advanced, more than we are, but at the rate that companies are producing more advanced machinery, we will soon be at the same place as they are. The children living in their society have become very violent towards one another. They kill others and wreck things just for the fun of it. The children of our society are becoming more and more like they are. Kids egg houses, key cars, kill children just to have a good time. Bradbury did a nice job predicted what the society would be like in the future.