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The Temperature at Which Books Burn

Ray Bradbury satirically views the world through Fahrenheit 451 by portraying society’s complacency with the problems developing within itself, extending from an absence of personal relationships to a reliance on technological innovations to a ridiculous extent. Thus complacency has overruled the gift of knowledge with disregard. The problems seen in Fahrenheit 451 can accurately compare to modern reality. These were the issues that Ray Bradbury anticipated to be true regarding what was to come shortly.

In the book Fahrenheit 451, the characters displayed a lot of ignorance throughout the story, constantly being in the presence of a screen and not paying enough attention to the detail surrounding them, almost as if it were a daily requirement. Clarisse noticed this and brought it up in a conversation with Montage, she said, “No one has time anymore for anyone else” (21). She proceeds to explain to Montage how people are so attached to their source of amusement and they go as far as believing it is better than interacting with other human beings. Society has become more complacent as innovations improve we tend to want better, faster, and more efficient shortcuts. Many students would rather be lazy and take those shortcuts because thinking requires more time and effort. The real enemy is complacency.

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. Today we live in a world where technology is a necessity and where humans have become too reliant on advancements that we cannot go a day without its advantages. Rather than having to use their time for researching and learning a subject, people in Bradbury’s book are hooked to technology, particularly their Televisions. They remain in an enclosed TV parlor and the characters go as far as calling the actors on the TV their “family” because they have spent countless hours watching the shows. Montage sees that his wife prefers television over his husband’s company as he tries to explain to her his overwhelming thoughts about reading, but yet she shows no interest and cannot understand why he would want to take the terrible risk of reading books. Bradbury states that “Then, in the 20th century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter” (52). As technology grows more efficient we get drawn out of reality and absorbed into this virtual world where it appears as if we have no control over it. In Bradbury’s novel, you can see how everyone’s life orbits around the parlor. It has even affected how parents raise their children. “You heave them into the parlor and turn the switch. It’s like washing clothes; stuff laundry in and slam the lid” (90). Technology has taken the place of numerous things in people’s lives. As the kids will also start to rely on technology and their kids after them and so forth, turning into a never-ending cycle.

The people of today’s society are being choked by the hand of complacency without even realizing it. We have become more ignorant and self-centered almost to the point where we individuals barely care about one another’s and the world’s issues. Tragic news events have turned into a norm and are immersed beyond any helpful significance. In Fahrenheit 451, Montage asked Mrs.Phelps about her family, she said, “Oh, they come and go, come and go,” (90). Mrs.Phelps doesn’t show any attention to her family assuming because she’s so caught up with her show. Some might assume that she values her TV as a family more than her actual family (her husband). A research study conducted by the American Psychological Association tells us, “about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.” (American Psychological Association). Because of this loss of connection families face problems that lead to divorce. Complacency is the root foundation of most modern problems.

The book Fahrenheit 451 and our modern society have a lot in common in a way that we choose to ignore it. The way the book is almost like a path of the future that our current society is taking the route, if we continue to be glued in this virtual reality, we, could end up like the characters in the book. We have to be more aware of the things around us and genuinely connect, to lessen the complacent lifestyle we live in.

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