Technology In Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is bountiful with ideologies of the future, most of which are presented through the dominant presence of technology.  Bradbury presents us with three main forms of technology; The Mechanical Hound, The Parlor Walls, and the “Insects”. These technologies are key in understanding one the main themes in the novel, the idea that technology creates dystopia.

Early in the novel the mechanical hound growls at Montag. This growl embeds so much much fear in Montag that he feels the need to talk to his captain. When Montag discusses the growl with Beatty he says he believes that the Hound doesn’t like him. This makes Captain Beatty believe that Montag is hiding something. The fact that the Hound is designed to hunt and kill people who have knowledge of a different sort adds to the Dystopia. It does through creating fear, and supports the idea that manipulation from the government is okay, and that freedom is not.

The Parlor walls became very notable in “The Hearth and The Salamander.” The parlor walls are giant screens on all walls of every house, and their purpose is to change views and become the only outlet to spread “knowledge”. These walls become ‘”family” to Mildred and becomes her main source of human connection. The parlor walls are only able to show what the government wants you to see. This blindness to other worlds is what creates the dystopia; the idea of trying to contain thoughts and deny the privilege of knowledge helps in developing the idea that technology creates dystopia.

Between the fear created through the Mechanical Hound and the blindness created through the Parlor walls we can see how dystopia is brought upon the society created in Fahrenheit 451.

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine Books, 1953. Print.

Caroline McDonald


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