We live in a society that is full of people with different kinds of attitudes and purpose in life that they carry out throughout their entire life. We may also find ourselves living in a society that is both utopia and dystopia. By utopia I mean that everything is perfect and the idea of dystopia meant that everything is wrong. But I think it’s safe to say that we all live in a society that is both utopia and dystopia at the same time. This dystopia and utopia society is somewhat reflected in the book, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The book itself may not seem as utopia but it is more likely to be seen as a dystopian society.
Ray Bradbury does a great job in his style of writing. At first, most of the text didn’t seem clear enough for me. At least the first chapter didn’t. But as I read the last two chapters, I tried my best to fit those important details and pieces together by analyzing the text. The society Bradbury creates in Fahrenheit 451 is somewhat reflected to our own society. The most significant idea about Fahrenheit 451 is the idea of not burning books, which the firemen usually do. With that in mind, I think the books enacts censorship. The books are forbidden to be read by in Fahrenheit 451 and that is a law as Beatty stated clearly to the Old woman by saying, “You know the law. Where’s your common sense? None of those books agree with each other” ( 35). The old woman risking her life for the book portrays the importance of the books. Fire was definitely used as a weapon to remove what the society think is bad.
In our society, fire may represent both war and peace. It represents war in which people destroy things when something isn’t right and it represents peace in which people come together as one after destruction. Fire in the book may seem as something that completely destroys things, in this case, books that will cause the people to feel unhappy. Beatty tells Montag about the importance of being a fireman by saying, “The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we’re the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought” (pg 59). The people value happiness. Everyone wants to be happy and they want to forget about things that will make them sad and cause disappointment in themselves, especially the books.
The idea of being independent and isolated is very common in the society of Fahrenheit 451. One of the woman mentioned that her husband and herself do not worry too much about each other by saying, “Be independent, we always said. He said if I get killed off, you just go right ahead and don’t cry, but get married again, and don’t think of me” (91). The relationship between a husband and his wife is not very important to them. They don’t support each other. In Fahrenheit 451, Montag told Faber that nobody listens to him at all by saying, “Nobody listens any more. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me. I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want somebody to hear what I have to say” (78). Even Mildred doesn’t listen to her husband. Montag reminds Mildred by saying, ” Does your ‘family’ love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?” (73). Mildred values her ‘family’ more than her husband and there’s not enough love between them. In our society, couples do their own thing during the day but at the end of the day, they will always need each other. Isolation is not an option for a couple in our society. Couples need each other in order for their family to be happy and grow stronger. They have support for each other.
Our society is a little bit engaged today. It doesn’t have time to stop and think for a second. They do but most of the time, they tend to focus on themselves rather than thinking about other people. We forget most of the time to notice and observe our surroundings and see what we’re missing. We are being upgraded by a lot of technologies that keep us busy. We use those technologies to isolate ourselves from others by going on social media, playing games or doing what we like on our attractive devices. Just like Mildred using her ‘family’ to find happiness by saying, ”My ‘family is my people. They tell me things; I laugh! And the colors” (69). As Mildred find happiness in her ‘family’, today in our society, we do the same thing by using technologies as a way of disengaging ourselves from our surroundings. We even use television to keep ourselves busy by watching the shows and movies that we enjoy. It’s more like using modernized technologies too.
Modern society creates unreality and a lot of times, we tend to fail to understand reality. Living in a modernized world can be hard for a lot of people. We tend to follow different trends and adapt to new things every day. It’s not a bad thing to change but we have to remove ourselves from the things that are not real and focus more on realities. Most of the times, we tend to forget about the importance of history. As Faber mentioned the three most important things about the book by saying, “Only if the third necessary thing could be given us. Number one, as I said, quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two” (81). The books have a lot of quality information from the past. History can be a beautiful thing but most of the time, we tend to focus on the future.
I think it’s safe to say that Ray Bradbury created a society that relates to our society. Most of us take books for granted. A lot of us remain isolated by doing what we love and lose interest in doing other valuable things. We find ourselves caught up in the modernized world with quality technologies.
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013. Print.