Fahrenheit 451 Elements of a Dystopia

Fahrenheit 451 Elements of a Dystopia

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  • In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury uses an oppressing force, Beatty, as an element in a dystopian society. Beatty is an intelligent and knowledgeable man who knows a lot about books. He uses this to his advantage by enforcing laws that ban books because he believes that books are dangerous weapons. In this quote, Beatty is trying to get Montag to be against books by giving all the points for why they are bad for society. Throughout the book, Beatty is the main oppressive and opposing force trying to enforce book banning.
  • Oppressive Government
  • “Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man's mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won't stomach them for a minute." (58)
  • Bradbury uses brainwashed citizens as an element from a dystopian society. He created this element through television. The T.V.'s brainwashed and hypnotized people to believe that television was all they needed to live a complete and happy life. In this quote, Mildred argues with Montag about his quest for knowledge through books and believes that they are useless because they cannot provide the happiness that can be found in a T.V.
  • Brainwashed Citizens
  • "Now," said Mildred, "my `family' is people. They tell me things; I laugh, they laugh! And the Colours!" (73)
  • In Fahrenheit 451, the story revolves around futuristic technology which is a common dystopian element. Bradbury uses futuristic technology by having television, the Hound, and other elements. Since this book was written in the 1950s, the idea of technologically powered dogs and addictive television was relatively new and different. In this quote, the Mechanical Hound is being described where at first, it seems like a regular dog, but as the description continues, the Hound has many more futuristic components like metal and electrical eyes.
  • Futuristic Technology
  • "The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window,touched here and there on the brass and the copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. The Hound half rose in its kennel and looked at him with green-blue neon light flickering in its suddenly activated eyebulbs. It growled again, a strange rasping combination of electrical sizzle,a frying sound, a scraping of metal, a turning of cogs that seemed rusty and ancient with suspicion." (24)
  • Rebellious Hero
  • “Then he reached up and pulled back the grille of the air conditioning system and reached far back inside to the right and moved still another sliding sheet of metal and took out a book. Without looking at it he dropped it to the floor. He put his hand back up and took out two books and moved his hand down and dropped the two books to the floor. He kept moving his hand and dropping books, small ones, fairly large ones, yellow, red, green ones. When he was done he looked down upon some twenty books lying at his wife's feet.” (65)
  • Utopia Impression
  • We've got to start somewhere here, figuring out why we're in such a mess, you and the medicine at night, and the car, and me and my work. We're heading right for the cliff, Millie. God, I don't want to goover. This isn't going to be easy. We haven't anything to go on, but maybe we can piece it outand figure it and help each other. (66)
  • People Living in Fear
  • “Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going, a long time back. I said nothing. I'm one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to the `guilty,' but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself. And when finally they set the structure to burn the books, using the, firemen, I grunted a few times and subsided, for there were no others grunting or yelling with me, by then.” (82)
  • Bradbury uses a rebellious hero as an element of dystopian societies. In the beginning, Montag does not see the flaw in society and supports book burning. After he meets Clarisse, his perspective changes on book burning. He starts to question and disagree with book burning. Montag rebels by reading and gaining knowledge from books. 
  • Bradbury uses the idea of a utopia impression in Fahrenheit 451. Citizens like Mildred, Mrs. Phelps, and Mrs. Bowles all believe that society is perfect and everything is fine. In this quote, Montag realizes that society is not as perfect as it seems. Everything from the medicine incidents and Montag questioning whether he is happy or not makes him realizes that he does not live in a perfect society.
  • In Fahrenheit 451, many people live in fear of getting in trouble or facing consequences which is a common theme in most dystopian societies. Bradbury uses this theme through his characters. Most of the citizens in Montag's society are afraid of breaking the laws and never dare to question the laws or government, for they are scared of the consequences they might face. In this quote, Faber, Montag's guiding figure, admits that he has been a coward by not trying to stand up for himself to prevent book burning.
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