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Imagine being in a world with over-ruling technology that causes the populace to stray further from reality exposing their unawareness and ignorance. This essay will analyze how in the futuristic dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses similes and metaphors to warn us if technology isn’t moderated, society will be harmed and have a lack of interaction.
Multiple times Bradbury presented to the reader how technology was used without moderation, which led to a lack of interaction within the populace. On the outset of the novel, Montag, the protagonist, comes home from his workplace as a fireman (burns books as profession) already expecting his wife, Mildred, to be listening to her electronic seashells. “There had been no night in the last two years that Mildred had not swum that sea”. Bradbury uses this metaphor to compare Mildred when she’s using her seashells to her swimming in the sea because they both pull one from reality. The seashell radio device is one of the prime examples of immoderated technology that create the lack of human interactions in Fahrenheit 451. This device allows the listener to hear the radio broadcasts made by the government. Just like earbuds, the seashell radio device interferes one with their ability to know what’s happening around them. When Montag comes from work, Mildred is depicted using this device. She seemed to be antisocial and withdrawn when Montag speaks to her. As to the seashell device, swimming in the sea pulls one away from society and makes them drift into their own world of isolation. This contributes to the theme that if technology isn’t moderated, it leads to a lack of interaction and a mindless society because of the deficient relationship between Mildred and Montag shown in the novel.
Technology was also included in order to reveal that technology is very harmful to society if not moderated. This is shown when Montag encounters the Mechanical Hound at the firehouse. “It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wilderness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with the over rich nectar, and how it was sleeping the evil out of itself”. Bradbury uses this simile to compare the menacing Hound to a great bee because they both are harmful and dangerous. The Mechanical Hound is a robotic dog with eight legs programmed to track down and kill heretics in Bradbury’s dystopian society. With the Hound, the firemen do not need to improve their occupation skills because the Hound can do the job for them. The Hound greatly exemplifies one way of how technology is used to be harmful instead of beneficial. It is only used to harm residents with a sting just as what a bee can do. Both the Hound and a bee can sting residents without a conscious thought. The Hound is programmed to terminate by the government and shows how merciless it be when a citizen interferes with its programming. This quote shows that if technology isn’t moderated, society will be harmed, which leads to the deterioration of humanity.
An addition to the last paragraph about what would happen to society if technology isn’t moderated, Bradbury presents the reader at the end of the novel with a devastating bomb that is dropped onto the city and knocks back the six drifters of society. “The concussion knocked the air across and down the river, turned the men over like dominoes in a line”. Bradbury uses this simile to compare the knocked men to falling dominoes in a line because mankind has become defeated and damaged due to the overtaking of technology. After Montag successfully flees the city for his revolutionary actions, the government responds by sending down a destructive bomb onto the city Montag once lived in that knocks him and the five other drifters to the ground. This is included to indicate that the residents were too indulged in their electronics like the giant TV’s to not realize the dangers around them. Also, Just as the last paragraph, this contributes to the theme that if technology isn’t moderated, society will be harmed, which leads to the downfall of humanity.
As seen from the essay, in Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses similes and metaphors to warn us if technology isn’t moderated, society will be harmed and have a lack of interaction. Just like the real world, technology can take over a large part of our society and have control if we don’t restrain ourselves from it.
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