Fahrenheit 451 Dystopian Elements

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  • Society lives under harsh control
  • Bradbury used the Mechanical Hound to display the element of harsh government control. The Hound evokes fear in the society and is made to kill people who don’t obey. This shows how the government is harsh because if the society doesn’t obey, they could pay the price with their lives.
  • "No, no boy (25)."
  • Bradbury used this element to show how the society is getting fed false information, because even though Benjamin Franklin did stop fires, he did not burn books as the book implies. This creates a dystopian world where the citizens in the society are not informed about what life was really like before books started getting burned. The citizens are not supposed to be knowledgeable and are only allowed to believe what the government wants them to.
  • The truth about the world is kept a secret
  • "Stoneman and Black drew forth their rule books, which also contained brief histories of the Firemen of America, and laid them out where Montag, though long familiar with them, might read: Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin (34)."
  • RULES
  • Citizens conform to society's expectations
  • Bradbury used Beatty quoting the books to show how Beatty used to read, but then he conformed to society’s expectations. He quoted the Alexander Pope in this case. Beatty is the main fire chief and he is the one that is supposed to hate books. This creates a dystopia because even though someone make like to read, they are forced to conform. 
  • "'But on the other hand: 'Words are like leaves and where they most abound. Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.' Alexander Pope. What do you think of that Montag (106)?" 
  • Bradbury used this element to show how society thinks they are all happy. However, they are never really happy because they have never felt sadness. Anything and everything in the society than can be deemed “unhappy” is totally eliminated. This creates a dystopian world because citizens are only allowed to feel one emotion and are therefore left with the illusion that their society is perfect. 
  • Illusion of a perfect society
  • “Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn all, burn everything (59-60)."
  • Main character questions the goodness of the society
  • Bradbury used Montag as an example of questioning society because he did so. In the beginning, Montag met with Clarisse and she caused him to start to question whether he is happy with burning books or not. He decides that he wasn’t happy and that caused many other events in the book to occur. Because Montag questioned the dystopian society, he rebelled later in the story.
  • Of course I'm happy. What, does she think I'm not (10)?
  • Bradbury used the technology in the society to show dehumanization. People in the society are so obsessed with technology because that is all that is around them. They don’t like real human interaction and believe that the television is real people. This make the society a dystopia because the people are no more human than the TV.
  • Society tends to dehumanize its citizens
  • “‘My ‘family’ is people. They tell me things: I laugh, they laugh! And the colors (73)!’”
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