Themes In Ray Bradbury's Novel 'Fahrenheit 451'

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Introduction
Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451, explores themes and, unnervingly, issues incredibly relevant to the modern world. These include the use and abuse of technology to serve the status quo and the futility of authentic human relationships in a dystopian society. Bradbury uses a large range of literary techniques, persuasive language and imagery to emphasise these key themes. Even though the novel was written in the early 1950’s, Ray Bradbury has profoundly demonstrated these issues by comparing and contrasting context between the Cold War and the English Literary Canon. Throughout the novel, Bradbury has expressed his critical views on technological control and dehumanization through his adoption of themes and relevant issues
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This is mostly seen through the characters of Mildred and Montag, who struggle to keep an authentic relationship above technology. In ‘The Hearth and the Salamander’, Montag says “Nobody listens anymore to each other, I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls.”. In this scene, Montag is beginning to realise the depressing reality his society lives in. There are no authentic human relationships, intelligence or free will, instead, technology controls the mass of the population. Bradbury uses truncated sentences, allusions to popular culture and first-person narrative to convey this point. Again, Bradbury demonstrates this point when he writes, “The first time we met, where was it, and when?” “Why it was at--” She stopped. “I don’t know.”. In this scene, Montag asked his wife, Mildred, where they first met. After thinking, Mildred realises she can’t remember. This shows the lack of authentic human relationships, even between husband and wife. This quote uses truncated sentences, enjambment and third person narrative. In ‘Burning Bright’ Bradbury writes “‘Poor family, poor family, oh poor family, oh everything is gone.” In this excerpt, Mildred is evacuating her home after she turned in an alarm against Montag for protecting books. As she passes Montag, she repeatedly says “poor family” and “everything’s gone”. Rather than caring about Montag who was about to be killed for having books, she is more worried about her walls and her ‘family’ being burned. Bradbury uses techniques such as repetition, extended sentences, and a distraught tone of voice to establish Mildred’s unhappiness. Ultimately, Ray Bradbury adequately examines the recurring theme of the repression of authentic human relationships through his use of extensive literary
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