Fahrenheit 451 Dystopian Elements

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  • Citizens Live Under Harsh Control
  • “The search is over; Montag is dead; a crime against society has been avenged”  Page 149
  • Truth is Kept from Society
  • “I mean to have firemen burn our houses and our books.” page 34
  • The Main Character Questions the Goodness of Society
  • “But I kept putting her alongside the firemen in the house last night, and I suddenly realized I didn't like them at all, and I didn't like myself at all any more. And I thought maybe it would be best if the firemen themselves were burnt." Page 67
  • In the quote above, an innocent man has been killed on television in replacement of Montag. The man was killed because the government wanted to keep the citizens watching the chase on television entertained, and they thought if they actually had shown all of the chase, the watcher’s perfect image of society would be disrupted. This shows that the government in Fahrenheit 451 would anything, even harm their citizens, to keep control.
  • Starts with an Illusion of the Perfect Society
  • Bradbury uses the dystopian element where truth is kept from society when books are burned from society so that society can not learn from them. The firemen, under government control, burn books. The government is scared if they do, citizens will overthrow the government.
  • Society Dehumanizes the Citizens
  • "I'm afraid of children my own age. They kill each other." Page 30
  • Once Montag has met the catalyst, Clarisse, he questions the current way his life is and if he is happy with it. After he has ideas of rebelling, he acts on them by taking books. Once he burns the house of the woman who killed herself to be with her books, Montag begins to read and questions the society he lives in. He decides he needs to make a change in his life, and comes to the conclusion that the firemen need to be stopped.
  • A High Level of Technology is Used
  • "It's really fun. It'll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth wall-TV put in?” page 20
  • The quote shows Montag in the beginning of the book. He has a “fiery” smile, and readers can infer that he is irrationally and insanely in love with his job. Montag is brainwashed with a perfect image of society, and he actually believes that he is happy. This is important to character development because after the catalyst, Clarisse asks him if he is happy, he realizes he is not, and his false sense of happiness is gone.
  • “Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles” Page 2
  • Bradbury shows the dystopian element because in the society, citizens kill each other for fun. They do not care about the consequences. Citizens have gotten to a point that they don’t know right from wrong and do not feel emotions. Citizens also do not care about their spouses or kids and just watch TV all day.
  • In the book Fahrenheit 451, there is a high level of advanced technology, as presented with the mechanical hound and interactive wall tv. The technology used by the citizens is a part of their way of life. This technology is beyond what we have currently, though could possibly be achieved in the future. By adding futuristic technology, Bradbury lets readers know that his created society is not completely out of reach.
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