Literary Essay Sample: The World of 2018 vs.The World of the Future

Published: 2022-04-11
Literary Essay Sample: The World of 2018 vs.The World of the Future
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Technology Society Ray Bradbury
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1148 words
10 min read

Over the years, there has been a remarkable improvement in almost all aspects of human life. Advancement in technology plays a significant role in the changes that have and continue to shape society today. The improvements, however, come at costs such as destruction of the environment, conflicts and erosion of moral values. The global crises that bedevil the society to correspond to Bradbury's predictions in his novel, Fahrenheit 451. This paper describes aspects of modern society that parallel those envisioned by Bradbury. Also, it explains possible implications of current events on future generations.

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As Bradbury explains, the proliferation of new technologies destroys human relationships because people focus on the gadgets at the expense of human interactions. The Television walls in the author's dystopian society exemplify how technology can ruin relationships. Mildred, the wife of the book's protagonist Montag, is both physically and mentally trapped in a room that is surrounded by screens. She talks to the people in the TV through screen walls as Montag tries to talk to her. This behaviour is prevalent in our society today. Often, people fidget unnecessarily with their phones and computers during conversations. During social meetings such as coffee dates, it is common to see people answer unimportant video calls thereby interrupting the physical conversations. It is not only TVs but also the seashells. The seashells were "tamped in her ear, and she was listening to far people in far places" (Bradbury 39). Nowadays people wear headphones, which are similar to the seashells and they spend a significant part of time listening to music or making calls. Mildred still has "the seashells stuffed in her ears" even when she is with Montag. Not only is it impolite but also hurts Montag because he feels she is not listening to him.

The sea waves bring the seashells up naturally. Similarly, people spontaneously take out earphones and plug them regardless of the environment. In this way, both Mildred and current headphone users isolate from the world and immerse themselves in their space. The evidence from Mildred's behaviour indicates that though the technologies "have the power to constantly connect with others" (Ford 1), inappropriate use causes misunderstanding and undermines human relationships.

Government surveillance is an issue that elicits mixed reactions from individuals and human rights watchdogs in the society today. The concept is depicted in the novel. According to Bradbury, the government has " eye. The impersonal operator of the machine could, by wearing a special optical helmet, gaze into the soul of the person whom he was pumping out" (12). In this way, the government 451 can look into an individual's personal information, thus monitoring and breaching privacy and gaining control all over the country. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA are the eyes of today's government. They have legislation-backed privileges to access an individual's privacy.

With the stronger power FBI has and will have in the future, the government gains the strength of making everyone believe in and support what government decides. For example, the decision by President Trump to building a wall between Mexico and the US has changed the perception of many people towards control of immigrants who question his attitude of "protecting young immigrants"(The Guardian 1). Such decisions often rely on reports from government surveillance agencies. The move, though perpetuated by a few people in government, reflects negatively on the whole American populace and undermines their ties with Mexicans because they (Americans) fund it with their taxes.

Interestingly, many social aspects today resonate with the happenings in Fahrenheit 451. For instance, people in F451 obtain utility from beauty. According to them, good looks is vital to happiness. Montag observes that Mildred has her hair "burnt by chemicals to a brittle straw" and her "body as thin as a praying mantis from dieting" (Bradbury 45). Today, many people especially women are obsessed with beauty. They aspire the beauties depicted in advertisement and movies. To that end, they use harmful chemicals to improve the skin and adopt hazardous regimens to lose weight. Health providers attribute many cases of cancer and other chronic ailments to the chemicals and food that people consume.

Bradbury also captures the selfish and greedy nature of human interactions today. When the firemen respond to Mildred's alarm, she "[comes] down the steps, running, one suitcase held with a dreamlike clenching rigidity in her fist, as a beetle-taxi hissed to the curb" (108). Mildred escapes when something bad happens, and the behaviour depicts a relationship that is not based on love.

The number of divorce cases in the United States shows the increasing disquiet among couples. People marry for convenience and prestige. This explains the propensity of partners to end unions after every small instance of inconvenience. Mainly, people get "married a good match for social standing and/or money" (TvTropes 1). Under the influence of the new wave of materialism and absence of love, people ignore the true meaning of marriage. The crisis poses a risk to the future generation. Studies show that children who grow up in dysfunctional and unstable families are likely to be deviant.

Internal conflict is also an aspect of human experience that affects many people today. In the novel, Beatty exhibits behaviour that portrays internal strife. As the captain fireman, he is obligated to destroy books. He is not supposed to steal and read a book. The speech that he presents exposes the conflicting stances that he faces. He genuinely cares about books. However, he yields to the expectation of the society to be the leader of the book burners. The conflict is evident because he sets out to "equate the universe" but ends up "making man feel bestial and lonely" (Bradbury 58).

There are several instances of internal conflict in the society today. For example, many people in religious circles find it difficult to reconcile the evil that takes place in the world today with the concept of a caring God. Internal conflicts are intense and often shape the behaviour of individuals. As Bradbury narrates, at some point, Beatty "wants to die" (116). This shows the adverse effects of unresolved conflict. The warning to the society is that care must be taken when dealing with internal conflicts. The overall health of a nation is an aggregate of the health of individuals.

In a nutshell, the dynamics of technology, society and human nature today is consistent with the patterns foreseen by Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451. As the society I prove technologically, several vices also permeate the society. In order, to preserve human relationships and the society at large, individuals must take deliberate choices to embrace change but not allow the changes to modify their human ideals.

Works cited

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451: A novel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1953. Print.

Ford, Hazelden Betty. "FCD Prevention Works." 16 March 2017. Teen technology addiction. web. 20 March 2018.

The Guardian. Mexico border wall: Trump contradicts his chief of staff over plans. 10 October 2017. web. 18 Jan 2018.

TvTropes. Marriage of convenience. 20 March 2018. web. 20 March 2018.

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