“‘And I should think you’d consider me sometimes. If we had a fourth wall, why it’d be just like this room wasn’t ours at all, but all kinds of exotic people’s rooms. We could do without a few things,” which is what Mildred tells Montag (Bradbury 18). Mildred would want distractions that televisions her instead of a good relationship with Montag, giving a major themes of Fahrenheit 451.
The novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury is about Guy Montag, a fireman who is ignorant to the books he burns, meets Clarisse who has one of the extraordinary thought processes in society. Her influence makes him question the government’s actions and gives him courage to read books that he had been hiding from his co-workers for many days. Society that is depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is one where ignorance is bliss and distraction is used as a form to keep society happy is that the government is lowering the citizen’s lives by turning them into hard workers without a significance.
Society in the book are too distracted by things that are not letting them able look or think deeper into what’s really going on around them and is instead focused on the smaller things surrounding them. In the book it says, “‘Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass in the morning’ He suddenly couldn’t remember if he had known this or not, and it made him quite irritable” (Bradbury 7). Clarisse differs Montag’s perspective of society through her observations. As a result, Montag starts to question himself because of Clarisse giving him such a strong influence on her opinions towards the world. As Clarisse communicates with Montag about her insight, Montag starts to question his emotions and well being in society.
Many of Clarisse and Montag’s conversations causes Montag to notice things around him that he never really pays good attention to like Clarisse does. Fahrenheit 451 also says, “‘…But I don’t think it’s social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t’” (Bradbury 27). Clarisse’s perspective / opinion shows the change in society, which results to Montag’s interest in books, wanting him to read them and find out what they are all about. Schools really do tell you what they want you to know and it is all dictated by the government. Montag’s curiosity causes him to find interest in the books his job tells him to burn.
For example, Montag has books that are hidden, which is an illegal task a fireman could do. Beatty, the chief fireman, uses the books as a way to conquer, telling him what’s going on in their society. Their society’s lack of interest in knowledge is caused by the government controlling needs of people who are distracted by the little and unnecessary things. In Fahrenheit 451, it shows how others ignore issues that they go through and decide to distract themselves with daily life thing and an example could be medicine or television. Mildred copes with her problems to Montag as to relieve his stress: “‘I always like to drive fast when I feel that way. You get up around ninety-five and you feel wonderful. Sometimes I drive all night and come back and you don’t know it. It’s fun out in the country. You hit rabbits, sometimes you hit dogs,’” (Bradbury 61). This is concern that Montag’s wife Mildred tells him when she relates to the anger, but instead of thinking things through and going through the motions, she wishes that it would just vanish. Montag tries to guide Mildred into caring about his importance by communicating, but she quickly declines Montag’s suggestion of him taking the keys and leaving the house. In Fahrenheit 451 it shows how society is physically and mentally mature, but trapped with an emotional mindset leaving one confused, etc. Technology and other distracting things that appear in the book also might be the reason why society remains questioned on how to communicate and overcome challenges.
Montag tells Mildred what happened: “‘Maybe you took two pills and forgot and took two more, and forgot again and took two more, and were so dopey you kept right on until you had thirty or forty of them in you’” (Bradbury 17). Montag expresses his worriedness to his wife, who does not care and the result of her overdose on sleeping pills. Mildred’s dedication to spend quality time with her husband Montag is quite the challenge. Understanding this quote makes one realize the danger of how a habit can turn into a part of your daily routine, as well as the chances of ruining any classified relationship, like a friendship or family relation. These examples of Mildred’s perspective shows how people work in a fantasy and how it relates real life.
The government tries to protect things by giving tasks to burn books which contains various opinions that are controversial and information that the government does not want most of society to know about. Beatty gives examples of authors who disobey the government, “‘We burned copies of Dante and Swift and Marcus Aurelius’… ‘Wasn’t he a radical?’” (Bradbury 47). Swift’s fictional stories are more than entertainment, it also discusses the habit of humans to back off each other. Gulliver’s travels contained thoughts that the government was too ignorant for most people to read. Montag realizes that books are other perspectives from author’s. Introducing an unlimited source of clashing truths and biased facts upon a species who are for the most part clueless about their own fate would prove detrimental to mankind. This is why authorities want nothing to do with thinkers and leaders who might spark curiosity in the average person causing them to deter from order.
This explains why Clarisse was “displaced” after spreading her abnormal ways and stirring the subconscious of Montag. Marcus Aurelius himself writes about how the truth may differ depending on who you ask, especially if they are religious or more scientifically-oriented. Book titles are just rumors to the increasing human population on this Earth as Beatty explains to Montag, “‘Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume…’” (Bradbury 52). The ignorant groups pay no attention to what literature may have to offer since there is a crazy amount of evidence, beliefs, etc. This is an example of Beatty and the government’s attempt to hide controversial topics. Beatty complains that all the firemen go to college before taking up their profession. The books that are most dangerous to the fictional world are the ones that have such controversial topics. In Fahrenheit 451, the government’s specific rules for their beliefs, lacking any strong or specific input on any subject due to it.
The general public chooses to divert their attention from their problems but instead onto asinine amusements which could potentially cause distress towards others. The government misconceives the people by keeping their knowledge at its most basic form in order for them to have more command among the public.
With advancements naturally proceeding in society today, many of these sentiments described in the book are not that far off from happening. Many distractions such as social media have an immense influence on others with many of them spending countless hours on these apps which amount to nothing in the big picture. With this knowledge present, the government should be more considerate towards the masses in order for them to retain a healthy relationship with others. Civilization will be more at ease with the general population being more considerate of others with them aware of the problems plaguing society.