Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fahrenheit 451--America today?


An interviewer once asked Ray Bradbury, "Do you think the country is moving closer to the fictional America you wrote about?" Without revealing Bradbury's answer, I challenge you to answer that question. Look back through Part One and consider the different elements of Bradbury's fictional America: the technology, the parlor walls, the "relatives", the Seashells, Beatty's perspective on American culture and education on pages 54-62. Examine these elements with a critical eye. Are there parallels to American society today?

Write a well-developed response in which you agree or disagree using specific examples from the text and modern society as support.

26 comments:

  1. I believe that Ray Bradbury drew many parallels between this futuristic society and today's society. There are many similarities with society becoming technology reliant, people's social skills dropping, and education is slowly becoming more relaxed.
    One of Bradbury's main points about today's society is that we are becoming too technology reliant. He made up the walls that have been turned into televisions, mechanical hounds that aid the firemen, and sea shell ear buds to stay in constant contact with social media. As a result of the technology reliant society, people have become so absorbed in social media, and rarely have anything else to talk about. Technology reliance, such as using texting and emailing to converse, has also created a drop in the social skills of this generation. Most teenagers feel much more comfortable hiding behind their phones, rather than having face to face conversations. In Ray Bradbury's futuristic society, gossip about the latest happenings are just about the only topics that most people have to talk about. Most people do not think independently or creatively. Meaningful conversations rarely exist, and I believe that reflects what American society is becoming.
    On page 55, Beatty explains to Montag, “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally most completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything saved pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” I found this statement extremely upsetting, because I feel as though Bradbury is making a connection with what he believes today's education has become. I must admit that I do agree with him. High school, at least, I feel has become very relaxed. Phones are allowed to be used during class, and at times I do not feel challenged. Although I do believe that college will be a different story, Bradbury raises a good point.
    I do believe that Ray Bradbury believes that today's society is moving forward towards the society he wrote about in Fahrenheit 451. He writes about the technology absorbed, media obsessed, socially unable, and education deprived futuristic society. It would naive to believe that he was not drawing parallels between our current society and the futuristic society that he wrote about.

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  2. In the year 1953, Ray Bradbury published the novel "Farenheit 451". At this time most of the technology that people use habitualy today was not even conceived, yet the author wrote about this futeristic society where all this technology controled the lives of the characters. There are many senarios in the novel that suppot my opinion that America is leaning towards the socitey described in the book due to the social interactions, the ideas of education, and the impatience of the society.
    The first and main idea that the author tries to potray is that the socialy the socitey does not have depth. In the first section the author show Mildred being excited to read her script with the telivisions and interact with the television. She does not go out and make friends; she sits in her living room talking to the walls she calls her family. I believe in socity today this is drawling a parallel between the shallow interactions that people have. Instead of having children play out side with neighbors and learn to thrive in social situations, kids sit in their rooms playing on their nientendo's and watching television. Also in today's culture there is the "great" idea of social media. People very much have a clouded vision of what it really means to be socialable. Men and women alike sit for hours at the computer reading the posts of people, and looking at their pictures. They are in no way truly interacting with them. This is very much like what Mildred was doing in the book.
    Another factor of today's society that points to the society portayed in the novel is that people are afraid to step on toes. Due to the fact that a few people are not of the same faith in a school room, faith and religion is taken out all together. Children are not encouraged to challenge and defend ideas, instead they are told to "save it for a more approate location". This is very much expressed in the society of Bradbury. When Beatty comes to talk to Montag about being sick he tells him about the educaiton system of today and why books had to go. He basically says that they caused to much controversy because people could not all agree that they were correct. Instead of all being able to express their individual opinions, they removed the need for an opinion.
    The last factor that really connects to today's culture is the need for imediate results. People grow impatience wating in line for their fast food. They get stuck in a traffic jam for five minutes on their way home and grow impatient. People want a thrill the thrill of life without working for it. This is also clearly shown in the novel. Beaty talks about how important clubs and parties. Speed is encouraged in sports and in life. An example of this would be when Mildred is talking about television with her friends. One friend said, "I loved that new 5 minute romance they aired." Even love is packed into a mere 5 minutes.
    There are many factors of the wold today that point to the society that is described in the novel. Socialy we have declined and are happy with merely seeing a post of good cheer from a friend every three months. People cut out challenges in efforts to not offend people. Lastly America as a whole has a need for immedicy that in many cases is irrational. All of these situations are clearly presented in the novel and show that America is indeed growing towards the society created by Bradbury.

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  3. I believe that there are many parellels between this futuristic society and the society we live in today. Everywhere we look nowadays people are turning to technology to "better enhance and simplify" our lives. Things are now getting done quicker and easier than ever with just a few strokes on a keyboard and a couple clicks on a mousepad. Teens and generations to come are now seeing some of the side affects of these technological break throughs. Some side affects would include lacking social skills and depth in education.
    What is the first thing you check to see if you have before leaving your house? Your cell phone. Cell phones may be one of the most evolutionary and yet harmful invention of this time. Although they provide many very helpful features, they also leave us as users feeling like robots. There is hardly any face to face communication anymore now with e-mails, texting, calling, etc. The generations growing up now do not know how to talk to adults or carry on a conversation in person with someone. Similar affects are shown in F451. TV's the size of walls, interactive television shows, and ear buds that are connected 24/7 to the latest gossip and news. The futuristic society in the book is completely dependent on technology. This is shown when Clarisse talks about how no one but Montag would ever talk to her and answer her simple questions. Another example is when Montag and his wife talk they never have anything to actually talk about. They talk about the same things everyday. They are so absored with the word that they aren't challenged to think deeply or differently and therefore are at a loss for words or emotions. Teens nowadays are the same way as they try and hide behind their phones and social networks.
    School in the futuristic society is downplayed and made seem easy and relaxed and less stressful. I think there are some truths to that as well today. School, in my opinion, has gotten harder and easier at the same time. We are expected to do more but with more resources. If one cannot or choices not to use their resources to their full potential, they will not succeed. More and more of our work (including this one right here) is technologically based learning. The classrooms have become more at ease and relaxed and students are allowed to use their devices (at least the honors students) as long as it doesn't interfere with their learning.
    In retrospect, part one of F451 shows a multitude of similarities between the world today and the world portrayed in the book. And I believe, if we're not careful, that we may end up in the same place as well.

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  5. Despite the fact that Fahrenheit 451 was written over a half of a century ago, author Ray Bradbury's futuristic novel, coincides with elements of today's society. Ray Bradbury intimated that is was vital to keep society happy at all cost. This is reflected today in the value placed on entertainment. For example, sports figures and entertainers make exorbitant salaries compared to educators. Bradbury's proposition is demonstrated in the value placed upon mere entertainment.

    At points in the first section, Bradbury writes about how imperative it is that everyone be happy. Society is engineered to this end. This is reflected in the current day practice of using media to send societal messages which suggest that certain products should be purchased in order to make life easier, happier, or worry-free. Another very unfortunate similarity between the book and our current society is the use of recreational or prescription drugs to induce a chemical state of happiness. We see an increase in the abuse of painkillers, methamphetamines, and other substances with the goal of reaching an altered state of consciousness. There is also a parallel increase in drug related deaths which was noted in Bradbury’s novel.

    Technology in today's society has an uncanny resemblance to some of the concepts described in the book. Even though our current television screens are not truly as big as a "parlor wall" this technology continues to produce larger and larger plasma, flat-screened televisions; which does seem to reflect the importance of television an technology in our lives. Similarly, Bradbury would likely fashion himself a prophet is he could see how completely we are on our technology every moment of every day. To be without a cell phone in today's world is like being without oxygen - a lifeline; I think Bradbury would be amazed at the amount of information we have at our fingertips. Interpersonal communication has been greatly altered by our technology to the detriment of interpersonal relationships. This is evident by our constant use of text messaging rather than verbal communication. Likewise, our use of Ipods has an eerie resemblance to the seashell radio described in the novel.

    The author made another prediction even though he didn't use current terminology for the concept of "political correctness" on page 57 he describes with great accuracy what we have seen develop over the past ten years. Freedom of speech and thought takes second place to the thought of possibly offending any group of individuals. Bradbury didn't use the phrase "political correctness" but this is precisely what he was describing.

    The concept of "relatives" as described in the novel reflects a breakdown in the traditional institute of families. Bradbury's society has been indoctrinated with a communal sense of everyone being family. This was designed to increase uniformity of thought across various groups and decrease individualism. His perspective on education is to access children during their most impressionable years to brainwash with predetermined ideas and decrease the risk independent though or creativity. They are fed a steady diet of meaningless facts rather than being encouraged to problem-solve or think for themselves. In some ways, we see aspects of American education being "dumbed-down" for example; we no longer value correct spelling or grammar.

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  7. I disagree with the notion that America today is becoming more like Ray Bradbury's fictional America. While there are several strikingly similar parallels, there are also stark differences that set our society apart from Bradbury's make believe. In his book, society experiences a lack in education and learning, books are being burned so people cannot read and experience the thinking that follows, and technology is controlling the majority of people's lives; all of which on the surface may appear to be true, but with thought do not describe what America has become.

    In America today, education is one of our main focus. Each year children learn more and more. Not only are they taught valuable information, they are given knowledge along with the tools to learn further on their own. Today's education has embraced the use of technology to advance student's learning and engage them.
    This is from the society Bradbury created that was only allowed to learn surface information and not able to question what they were taught. Americans today can become educated in depth on any subject by simply clicking 'enter' on any search engine. They not only have this ability to research, they are pushed by educators and society to question why things are the way they are.

    Secondly, while physical books, newspapers, and magazines today may be becoming more obsolete as the decades go on, this does not mean American's have given up reading. On the contrary, technology enables Americans to pull up numerous newspapers and magazines, and download books at the click of a button. Students are able to gain easier access to books as they are available for instant download on something as common as their phone. In Bradbury's book, books were being burned and destroyed. This may seem as a parallel to American's ever decreasing use of books, however as stated above it is the contrary.

    Lastly, technology is not taking over people's way negatively as portrayed in Bradbury's book that mentioned walls of homes with televisions that publicized government propaganda all day. If anything it is the opposite. Our technology allows people to research information and form for themselves what they thing about the government. It also allows people to stay connected. American's have the possibility to contact someone with a few pushes of a button. They can also access any information in the same way. Bradbury describes a scene where televisions and radios took over people's wives. In his book, Montag described Millie's music as something that was stopping her from learning. However in society today, the devices that can play music also give the user the ability to look up information almost instantly. Also in the book, technology has begun to replace Millie's family. She refers to her television as her relatives. This seems similar to America today because sites like Facebook allow us to stay in touch with our family and communicate. However this does not mean that most people have no longer felt the need to see their family face to face. It is actually quite the contrary as dependence on technology has led to the stressing of the need for face-to-face interaction.

    Overall, America today is not what Ray Bradbury portrayed it to be. People are still being educated and have access to unlimited information. They are also reading more than ever before with the help of technology. Lastly, technology has aided in keeping real families connected and also helps in learning.

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  8. I do believe that society today is drawing a parallel to the futuristic society Ray Bradbury wrote about in Fahrenheit 451. Ray uses many different points that support this claim, the first point being that our society is becoming very technology dependent. In this novel, Bradbury imagined advancements that had not already been created, but have the possibility to be developed in the next few years. A few of those advancements being walls that are completely made out of tvs, a hound that is basically a robot being used for the help of the fireman, and the seashells that are ear buds. I believe that when Bradbury wrote this book he was making a connection with what he thought our society would become in the coming years. Our society's face-to-face contact is already falling apart. Today is is much easier to text someone or e-mail them than to go to their house and have a personal conversation with them. We are given anything we could possibly need with the touch of a couple of buttons. The "relatives' would be Ray's theory that the traditional family no longer has the same dynamic and communication as family's did in the past. When Montag first meets Clarisse he is so interested in her because he finally has something to talk about and something different to explore. Montag cannot even imagine someone different from him and his society, so when he meets Clarisse he is so interested in her and why she is different.
    Beatty makes the point on page 55 that education is no longer taken seriously, it is so relaxed and the most important elements of education are no longer required. I agree with the point that Beatty/Bradbury is making here, because i do believe that education is starting to go downhill. Students are so engulfed with the technology and their cell phone they cannot see straight if they are without it for longer than an hour. This disrupts the learning that they could be doing. Students are not punished as bad for not completing their work, teacher, students, and parents are begging to drop the standards that our society has set in place for education. Little by little technology is taking over and the society is falling into what Bradbury wrote.
    There are many connections between Bradbury's futuristic society and the current society we are living in today. Technology advancements are becoming greater and greater everyday and everyone wants to be involved with it every second of every day. Education is not as strict as it used to be. I do believe that Ray drew many parallels to his made up society and our current one.

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  9. In my opinion, I believe that Ray Bradbury drew many parallels from the fictional America that he wrote about to American culture in today's society. In the first section of the book, Bradbury uses a wide variety of advanced technology, a paradoxical need to burn books to better the education of the people, and somewhat tries to show a parody of society's views towards social skills and every day learning.
    In the first section of the novel, Bradbury uses fictional elements such as the advanced “parlor walls”, the Mechanical Hound, the fireproof houses, and sea shell ear buds to show the importance of America's need to continue on a technological path due to its people's reliance on technology. The author used the parlor walls that are basically wall sized televisions to show how dependent America is on television and laziness. He used the Mechanical Hound and the “fireproof houses” to show how the author thought in the future, robots would be functional and houses would be equipped with technology that many scientists are trying to solve in today's society. We, as Americans, believe the only way to continue on a road of success, is by coming up with new technology to comfort the insecure needs of the country's people.
    I believe there was a parallel in the book in how firefighters burned books, which somewhat relates to how people don't even use books anymore to better their education. It somewhat relates to how technology dependent we have become from the use of computers, cell phones, and other devices. Even books nowadays are being replaced by “ebooks” in which are read on some kind of device requiring a battery. Burning books is therefore the author's way of showing his views about what he thinks might as well happen in the near future.
    Lastly, with American citizen's decrease in social skills due to today's advancements, Ray Bradbury somewhat parodies this by showing Captain Beatty's explanation about school in that day in age. Beatty talks about how school is shortened, as well as more relaxed, which kind of relates to how school is becoming today. More technology is being used in the classrooms, and even my teachers do not care about me using my cellphone in class. Only about 3 years ago, it was different, where even seeing a phone would cause it to be taken away.
    All of these points show how Ray Bradbury is drawing parallels from his writing to today's society. He is purposely taking things we have today, and drawing more from each of them to explain what American society will be like in the near future.

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  10. I completely agree, because he writes in the future, but he resembles the world we live in today. The way he writes about Guy and his wife is almost as if he knows exactly what it's like today. They barely have any sort of relationship, because she's so into her tv programs. They slowly lost their connection, and I think that's what makes him unhappy. They also sleep in two separate beds, as if they almost have no relationship. They rarely talk and don't interact much. Society today has gotten like that, talking over text and having little social skills.
    The society has also gotten simpliar. Everything has shorter, abbreviated names. They also don't have relationships with really anything. Everything has to be quick and straight to the point. They don't wait very long for anything, and need as soon as possible. In our society, people want everything as fast as it can be. We don't want to wait, and have to have the fastest version of it. We shorten names for people and things, to say what we need faster. Everything is very simplified.
    Lastly, the technology is always being upgraded just like our society. His wife talks about wanting another tv in her room, to make the whole room full of tvs. She always wants the upgraded version, just like we do. Our society runs on the new version of the iPhone or iPad, and spend loads of money on it. She plans on using their money on the upgrade.
    Overall, our society is very similar to their's. We constantly want updates, lack social skills, and want everything to be faster and better.

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  11. I believe that Ray Bradbury does draw many parallels to society today.Although he wrote this book many years ago, which makes it more puzzling and some what frightening. I think this because when he was speaking about the technological advances such as the mechanical hound, the "sea shells" , and the parlor walls show how even today technology is a big part of day to day. It draws a parallel with reading books because in our society books have become almost obsolete. I believe that we are already conforming more and more and imagination has decreased due to such high standards and set ways to learn, just like Farenhiet 451,not as much as having a set script for watching tv though. In our society its becoming more and more normal for murders, bombing, and other tragic events that the government could resort to getting rid of books and pushing conformity. They may go about it in a more subtle way saying they are obsolete with our new technology. Bradbury shows the constant unhappiness due to the conformist movement, if you look around in our society people have become more and more greedy and needy due to getting everything at a fingers touch or a click a way. If something takes more than two seconds someone gets very impatient. It's known that depression and unhapiness is on a rise. Bradbury portrays this very well with Montag's wife, acting as if life is perfect but then being very depressed. Which I think is a direct parallel with todays society. Although technology is meant to make things easier is it potentially just complicating our lives? As a child I was told great things come by hard work. I think Bradbury is showing that since technology is so advanced there is nothing to work towards, which causes a sense of emptiness in a human. It's our nature to be the best, nut if technology is the best we simply can't compete, thus conforming and living day to day going through the motions. I believe we are on are way to this point. Bradbury draws many parallels to our society that is frightening.

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  12. Yes, I definitely agree with the question posed by the interviewer. Everyday, I see people moving quicker, and not taking time to think about things or wonder “why”. This was one of Bradbury's main points in his novel, that people are moving too quickly and not taking enough time to appreciate things and ask why things happen the way they do. For example, the fact that they cannot read books shows how Bradbury's society does not wonder “why”. Today, people read fewer and fewer books and focus on topics that are not relevant to today's problems. “Reality” tv has become very popular today, just like in the novel how the “people in the walls” were all that Mildred concentrated on. People often lose themselves in electronics like computer games and tv just like Mildred's whole world was wrapped around the people in the walls. She cared less and less about was actually happening in life than what was going on in her fictional world. People do the same things today. They would rather watch a fictional world than watch the news and catch up on what is actually happening in society.
    Another connection to today's society is Mildred”s consumption of pills. Today, people are facing more and more problems with depression. Their solutions are always the same, to pop pills. Mildred is obviously not happy. However, she refuses to admit that, and rather than fixing the problem by pursuing things that wold make her happy, she just takes pills to possibly forget about it. This happens so very often in today's society. As people develop more and more problems based around their overall feeling of satisfaction with the world, they either take pills or buy items to distract them from their feelings, just like Mildred overdosed and suggested to buy another wall of tvs. Bradbury was obviously making connections to today's developing society when he wrote this book.

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  13. I think that his image is close to American culture today. People are constantly assaulted with the media's opinion and anyone who thinks otherwise is an anarchist or a lunatic. People keep to themselves mostly with the advances in technology. People can work at home, talk to people through skype, and have everything they need delivered to them. People are constantly listening to their headphones and watching TV. But not even watching it though. They just turn it on and stare, they keep it on for background noise to keep their ears busy so they don't have to think.Parents used to fight with their children to come inside at night, now we suffer from childhood obesity and have programs that promote children to play an hour a day. Everything is going digital. People don't go to libraries, border's is going bankrupt. Everyone has a kindle to read, but the real use is video games. Simple games that anyone can be good at, but still keep people's attention. Instead of doing research in libraries we just google it, to get the simplest most digestible version like the dictionaries in the book. People who suffer from depression take pills to get better and if the pills don't make them better we put them into therapy. It's such a common occurrence we have huge institutions dedicated to it. Society is still somewhat attached, but we're slowly growing introverted and living vicariously through our favorite celebrities or TV show characters.
    I think we are definitely turning into the society described in F451 step by step we're getting closer. I don't think we'll outlaw books any time soon because people are clutching to any right they can right now and even making some up. But I do see that books are slowly declining and may just "go out of fashion some day"

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  14. I agree with the proposition that modern America is becoming more and more like Bradbury's America because of the distinct similarities between both societies. Bradbury's America was extremely futuristic and almost unrealistic in his time, but today it seems much closer to being real and not-so-far into the future. In addition to the technology portrayed, the popular mentality about nearly everything in the book is similar to what we have today.
    In the book, there were many technologies that are possibly in our near future. Such toys include the walls of interactive television and the "sea shells". There are people working every day to progress our current technology and discover the next big thing. There are already televisions that can be controlled by motions. Soon, humans will have only to think and their technology will somehow respond as desired. Bradbury was not, of course, only portraying the progression of technology in his novel, but also the difference in society due to that technology. In the book, it was normal for people to be antisocial. This could have been because of the addiction to technology. People would spend all their time interacting with the wall televisions, which lowered the need for people to go out and interact with others and make friends. This is extremely similar to how people are today. My brother's generation, only three years older than my own, was much closer as a whole because they didn't have much social media to keep up with each other or advanced video games to entertain them. They would have to go out into the world together and make their own fun. My generation consists of Twitter and Facebook, Xbox Live and Playstation. People can sit at their own homes and interact with each other. This is but one step away from talking to television like the book.
    In addition, most people were relatively suicidal. After Mildred's stomach is pumped, the operators told Montag that they have to go out almost a dozen times a night just to pump people's stomachs. This means that a lot of people are depressed but unable to find help. This is similar to our society now because there are countless people depressed. Luckily, most of them take anti-depressants as opposed to attempting suicide.
    Lastly, censorship is rampant in the book's society. Books are burned to prevent people from reading about the past and getting radical ideas. People began wanting to please everyone in society, which meant that differing ideas were discontinued. Everyone was taught the same story that coexisted with all beliefs. This is similar to today because people want to change things just to please others. For example, there is an opposition to having God associated with the United States, as it is in currency and the Pledge of Alleigance. This is because they do not believe in God and find it unfair to be forced to use something that they don't believe in. If people submitted to this, Internet censorships and censoring history could happen just as easily to avoid offending people.
    In conclusion, there are many similarities between today's America and Bradbury's America. Unfortunately, those similarities are not good because they will cause problems. Bradbury's book must be used as an example of what we should avoid letting happen.

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  15. I believe that we are becoming like this books society in several aspects. However in other aspects we are becoming the opposite of what Bradbury envisioned. We are becoming more shallow as technology advances and we have less personal relationships. Instead of talking to people we text them and instead of hanging out with our friends we watch tv and play video games. This may cause us to lose some of our creativity and not think deep thoughts. This would create a parallel to the book society were they only talk about gossip. However in this book society is less educated than ours. As they learn less and less we learn more at an earlier age. Our knowledge is increasing while theirs is decreasing.

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  16. I do believe that to some extreme, America is headed towards this type of culture. We depend on technology so much in everyday ways. We consider “socializing” looking and the latest news on Twitter and Instagram, or Facebook. It is almost impossible to begin a conversation, nowadays, not based on something that was seen on these “social networks”. I realized this when reading about Guy's wife's conversation with her friends. She cannot have a conversation with her friends that has any real meaning. Also, Guy and his wife have no real relationship. He cannot remember how they met or where and this is very accurate. I think that we are so used to getting things quick and right when we demand it that the smallest thing between two people can cause a divorce or separation, and Guy and his wife do not even sleep in the same bed, which may have to do with the fact that the book was written in the 50's, but I do agree with the fact that relationships are less and less able to be mended. I think that while it is not quite to the extreme that Bradbury wrote about, America has become much like his America. It has taken close to fifty years, but we are still very close to the cut-off world in his book. Overall, I do think that this is what America has become, as in the quick-paced. However, I do not think it has gotten to that extreme.

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  17. The view presented in the book is something that I agree is similar to the world we live in. Technology is changing the way the world runs and goes just like it does in the book. In the real world the use of books are diminishing just like the goal of complete disappearance in the book. The world is becoming less interactive and just doing for your own. The book world is not very intellectual which explains why Clareese doesn't like to go to school. The book world relies on technology to do the learning for them. At least for the real world, we still have to learn how to do things and at least learn how to work the technology.

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  18. I agree that our world is losing itself to a non-itellectual, technology-dependant culture. In our world today, people are dependant on technology for almost anything and everything. In the book, the reader sees mildred contstantly watching television. She rarely does any other activities than sit down and be entertained by the tv walls. This is a big showing of how people are today. You can go into almost any household and find a television, and most likely somebody watching it. Usually they arte not watching beneficial shows, but instead watching a game show or some cartoon that will not help the watcher learn. People nowadays look forward to the time they can get home, get into comfortable clothes, and watch the boob tube instead of going out and doing something important to themselves or their family like cooking a meal or going on a family outting. The closest people get to doing outdoor activities a lot of times is watching ESPN.
    Another point seen is between mildred and guy. Their marriage can only be characterized as uneventful and sad. With each day they slowly start moving away from each other. In our world today, this can often be seen in marriages that have been around for couple years. Not all marriages ar elike this, but the number is rising all the time. You can see people who sleep in two seperate beds like guy and mildred. Their is no chemistry or love between the two at all. It is like they have never been married or in love, but instead have just been put in the same house to live together their whole life or until one of them ends up leaving the other and going off to yet another sad relationship. Bradbury did make a good prediction in how future relatioships would work and how marriages would end up being like.

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  20. Throughout this book there are many things that are totally different than what we are used to being around. Ray Bradbury introduces new types of technology and ways of life that are completely different than what we have grown accustomed. I believe that Bradbury drew many parallels with the fictional future that he created and the present day living that we experience. These parallels are shown through the technology, lack of socialization, and the need to please everyone.


    Technology was a big part of Bradbury fictional futuristic America, which is not very far from the truth of present day. Technology was a large part of his wife, Mildred's, life because that is how she felt she was able to be herself. In the book, Beatty notes that since there were better forms of technology and shorter magazine's that is one of the reasons that books became things of the past. Likewise, in modern times, when we are assigned a book to read it is like we're being forced to do something awful, because we're not used to having to use our brain for long periods of time. Technology in this fictional futuristic time has begun to rule everything in the school. That is a parallel to society now, because we now use net books in school and no longer hand write stories or papers often. Also, there are now initiatives to have our textbooks on our net books, eliminating text books from our daily life, which wouldn't be too far from how Beatty says that the “book” became a thing of the past.


    Another factor that is showing parallel's to today's society is the lack of socialization. When Guy meets Clarisse McEllan, she says that her mother, father and uncle all sit around and talk, which is unheard of by Guy. This is parallel to today's society because twenty years ago it was normal to sit outside every evening with your family and the neighbors and everyone spend time together; yet, now people are “too busy” and they don't have time to just relax and spend time with their neighbors, many people could live next to someone for years yet never actually talk to them, which exhibits the lack of socialization in our culture. A second example of this is shown though Guy's wife, Mildred. Mildred has a script and talks to the people on the TV as her job. She doesn't work with real people in a real office, she sits in her parlor and responds to the TV prompts. This is also parallel to today's society because there are children shows such as Dora the Explorer that prompt the kids to answer them when they ask questions.


    Lastly, one of the more hidden parallel’s is shown through Beatty's speech. He states “Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog lovers, cat lovers, doctors, lawyers...” (57), through this speech he is saying that authors started to quit writing because everything needed to be more “nice and clean”. That is also a parallel to society today because there are so many people who have to go back on things that they say in their speeches, or even rewrite their speeches hundreds of times so that they will not be offensive to any specific group and/or person.

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  21. Yes, I agree that American society is growing closer to the society in Fahrenheit 451. In today's world, people are losing their ability to think for themselves. Our society revolves around the internet and social media. Information is fed to the public through these outlets causing people to believe in it whether it is true or not. People don't ask questions because they have been told by a higher source what is right and what to believe, resulting in a public that has lost its ability to think. This corresponds with the society in Fahrenheit 451 because they also do not stop to ask “why” or “how”. As Clarisse says “they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else”. In that society, the public has become numb to the world around them. They speak about the same things repeatedly because they do not know anything else.
    This society in Fahrenheit 451 is also like today's society in that everyone moves too fast and focuses on the wrong things. Clarisse describes how the people in the novel “don't know what grass is...because they never see them slowly”. This is also relevant to today's world because many people today go too quickly from work to home and to other activities without taking time to look at what else is going on in the world. People are too focused on other things, often related to electronics, to spend time with family or just relax. This is seen in this novel with the “parlor walls” and the “relatives” that live in them. These electronic screens keep people from interacting with one another and keep them from seeing and knowing about other things in the world. Instead of going out and having real friends, Mildred spends her time in the house having fake conversations with non-existent people. People do not know each other because they don't spend the time or the effort to try.
    Another similarity between our society and the one in Bradbury's book is the worsening condition of the human psyche. Many people today suffer from depression but deny that they have it or refuse to get help. This is the condition that Mildred has and what caused her to almost kill herself, whether it was on purpose or by accident. In today's world, we rely heavily on drugs and medicine to correct any abnormalities and make people “normal” but if a person denies anything is wrong, like Mildred, they cannot get help. The men who saved Mildred made it clear that many people in Fahrenheit 451's society suffer from depression, because it is not unusual to see several cases of overdoses in one night.
    Overall, I believe that our society is moving closer to that portrayed in Fahrenheit due to the parallels made in the novel. The dependency on technology, fast-moving world, and ill minds in Bradbury's futuristic novel can relate to the real world. These similarities are what show us that our society is moving towards the one in the novel.

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  22. There are many similarities between the futuristic society described in Ray Bradbury's novel and the society that we live in today. Every time you turn on the t.v. it seems like there is a new piece of technology that has emmerged that is designed to make humans' lives easier. Ray Bradbury draws parallels between the two worlds through his portrayal of technology and his portrayal of the lack of socialization.

    The first thing that someone might notice about the book is the amount of technology present in Guy's everyday life. It seems that everything in the futuristic world has been designed to ease the lives of its residents. Beatty claims that this is one of the main reasons that books ceased to exist in the futuristic world. As technology became better magazines became shorter and shorter. Digests were developed that reduced classic novels into one page articles. Books became a thing of the past simply because there were "better" ways to read. In modern day society, this trend is already beginning to develop. There are now pieces of technology, such as kindles, designed to make reading more efficient and convenient. There are also websites now that give readers the gist of a book without them ever having to read the book itself.

    Another element present in Bradbury's novel is a lack of socialization. A perfect example of this, is the first conversation that Guy has with Clarisse. Near the end of the conversation, Guy is surprised to learn that Clarisse's family sits around and talks with each other every night. The fact that this surprises guy, helps to show that socialization is something that isn't very important in the futuristic society. People in the futuristic society also "socialize" by staring at the "families" in their television walls and answering prompts that the "families" ask them. This is what Mildred does witht he majority of her time in the novel. This parallels the world that we live in now. Sometimes people get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of their personal lives that they forget to take time to spend time with those that matter to them.

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  23. I believe that Ray Bradbury did show examples that could be related to today's society. There are many similarities with the society becoming majorly technology reliant, education is becoming more relaxed rather than challenging, and social skills are beginning to drop.
    Bradbury is shows different ways that the society is becoming more technology based by creating mechanical hounds that are able to aid the firemen, and also by creating walls that have been turned into televisions. Different ways of technology such as emailing and texting to communicate with others have had a part in lowering the social skills of today's society. People have become too technology reliant because everyone is all wrapped up in social media, and constantly talking to others about technology. Bradbury's futuristic many people only discuss the latest news and gossip, and this is what today's society is becoming over time.
    Ray Bradbury shows examples on the drop in education. Drop meaning education is becoming more relaxed and easy to do, rather than being challenging and making the students learn new things to help them throughout their life. Beatty states “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally most completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything saved pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” (page 55)
    I believe that ray Bradbury in fact does believe that today's society is heading in the direction of the society that he had described in Fahrenheit 451. Today's society is turning into a technology reliant, and education deprived society, which is what Bradbury wrote about in Fahrenheit 451.

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  24. I think that Ray Bradbury's society shows parallels to the society that we live in today, when it comes to social and communication skills dropping and becoming more dependent on technology it is very much like our society in 2013. Although they seem extreme, I think we are closer to them, and even worse in some ways than we think. One thing I see as being very similar is Mildred's dependency on pills, and the attempts at suicide. I think our society has become dependent on pills for everything in our life, every problem we have we think that there must be something we can take for that. The fact that Mildred pretends that she doesn't remember trying to end her life and goes on happily reminds me of our society greatly. I think that in many ways we discourage sharing feelings and we feel the need to out a fake smile on our face at all times. Another parallel is Mildred always talking to her "family" so many young people spend so much of their lives on computers or in front of televisions playing video games which is really us involving ourselves in the lives of fake people, like reading a script. The ridiculous way the women act, always judging and talking about others, never talking about anything deep very "surfacy" reminds me of the conversations that I have with some people. There are very few people in my life that I can share my true feelings with while with everybody else we stick to surfacy topics and feign happiness and make our lives look better than they really are.

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  25. I do agree that the author tries to creat a parallel with modern society in this book through a futuristic society. It seems as though he over exagerates all of the bad qualities of modern society a little too much, but this could just be the author trying to draw attention towards some of the aspects of society. One of his exagerations is when he shows how much time Guy Montag's wife spends watching TV and not talking with Guy Montag. Sure, people in modern society watch too much TV and spend to much time on social media, but it is not so bad as to say people are almost completly cut off from social activites while being consumed by media and are limited to very short conversation with little substance. What confuses me about his ability to make these parallels is that the author wrote this book in the early 1950's when technology was not a big part of society like it is now. He also exagerated the medical advancments going on. I know more people are alive now than there should be because of medical advancments but the author acts like saving someones life is quick and painless. I couldn't imagine someone acting like a stomach pump was so painless they don't even remimber it. Even though this is an exageration I do see how common illnesses today used to be fatal deseases that were potential death. The other shows an exageration of modernsociety in his book.

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  26. I agree agree, because he resembles the world we live in today. Guy and his wife resemble what a husband and wife are in modern times. For example; when my parents were still together it's like they didn't even have a relationship, my dad was so involved with his tv shows and sleeping. Over time they grew apart slowly making my mom more and more unhappy. Toward the divorce they rarely talked to each other and I was surprised to see the two in the same room with each other. Society today has gotten like that, talking over text and having little social skills. Society has also been made more simple because of all the texting and social networking we now have.
    We have to abbreviate everything in to "lol" and "brb," its almost like everyone barely wants to talk to one another, everything has to be quick and straight to the point. Also in our society we have to have what we need as soon as possible, no one haves any patience anymore. Even our technology cannot take a standstill. Everything is constantly upgrading too fast and it is hard to keep caught up. Our society is extremely similar to their's. We are constantly wanting to latest update updates and we aren't satisfied with the speed of things until they are faster just to not be satisfied again.

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