Imagine a world where citizens no longer think, books are illegal, and TV is the main form of entertainment, this is the type of society described in Fahrenheit 451. Mildred Montag is a woman molded by society to be their perfect robot of a citizen. She keeps a seashell radio in her ear preventing any thoughts, ideas, or memories she may have. Mildred also hates books and believes they are meaningless, which is an average characteristic of the people in Fahrenheit 451’s society. A third characteristic of her that makes her an ideal citizen is that she is an emotionless drone.
Overall Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, resents the dangers of conformity through the works of Mildred Montag, who is molded by society to be their ideal citizen. In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred is like an average citizen at the time because she hates books and believes that are meaningless. As stated in Fahrenheit 451,”Mildred kicked at the book. Books aren’t people. You read and I look all around, but there isn’t anybody”(Bradbury 69). Mildred states this just after Montag reads her a book that he kept illegally.
This quote shows how Mildred views books as completely unimportant due to the fact that books aren’t people, unlike TV. Bradbury is using ersonification in this quote saying that TV is people because Mildred and many other citizens in Fahrenheit 451’s society believed that the books are not alive like the people on TV. Along with this, it also shows how in the futuristic society books are disliked by all the people who truly conform with society because they feel books are not real due to their lack of thinking, however TV is loved because they feel the people on TV are truly alive and interacting with them.
Along with this it shows how to people in that society are not truly alive, they just rely on TV. This brings up the danger of completely losing all iterature in the future. Another piece of evidence showing the danger of hating books is in “Heinrich Heine on Burning Books” when it states,”Burning books and burning people are connected because both stem from a desire to eliminate ideas that are a threat to the some group or ideology which is in power”(Cline 1). This quote shows why people burn books and why the government in Fahrenheit 451 outlaws books.
The government needs the people to get rid of books due to wanting to prevent any ideas of revolt and prevent any complex thoughts. Mildred conforms with society and outlaws books, but doesn’t even think about why. Overall, the outlawing of books presents the dangers of eliminating complex ideas and thoughts. Eliminating these complex thoughts and ideas can lead to terrible choices from war to suicide. In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred is like an average citizen who is molded by society into an emotionless drone.
As stated in Fahrenheit 451,”Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in awhile. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real? “(Bradbury 52). This quote shows how emotionless Mildred as become as she has conformed to society. Montag is stating to Mildred that you must feel sadness to experience happiness, however Mildred experiences no emotions at all.
The citizens no longer experience any emotions whatsoever because they are drowned out with technologies like the seashell radio and TV. Along with this, the end of emotions further shows the dangers of obeying a strict society. Another piece of evidence that shows how real of a threat this is, is in “Do Emotionless Humans Exist,” when the writer, Rob Hutchinson states,”The idea of a robot-like human being unable to feel emotions might eem like something out of science fiction, but..
This neurological condition has a name, alexithymia, and sufferers are unable to perceive, identify or exhibit emotions” (Hutchinson 1). This quote shows that an emotionless drone like Mildred is not completely impossible. Alexithymia is a condition very similar to Mildred because the person feels no emotions and has bad decision making when it comes to life and death, all similar to Mildred. Along with this, the disease brings many dangers which are also brought up by the government using techniques to prevent emotions.
These dangers go along with the dangers of burning books because it an result in horrible choice making such as suicide and it can lead to the desensitization of people. Overall, the dangers of conforming with society and becoming emotionless, similar to Mildred, are shown to not be so far fetched. In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred keeps a seashell radio in her ear preventing any thoughts, ideas, or memories she may have. The seashell radio is given by the government and it plays music and radio to prevent having real memory and thinking, which is needed for many things.
As stated in Fahrenheit 451,”And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an lectronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming on on the shore of her unsleeping mind”(Bradbury 10). This quote shows that the government gives out these radios and Mildred conforms with society and constantly keeps them in her ear. With noises constantly playing in her ear she can never truly use her mind to think and this prevents any thoughts of rebellion.
Conforming to this society and using these seashells make the mind almost useless, which takes away a big part of the citizen’s lives. Another piece of evidence is in “Is technology producing a decline in critical thinking and analysis? when it states,”As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our skills in critical thinking and analysis have declined, while our visual skills have improved, according to research by Patricia Greenfield, UCLA distinguished professor of psychology and director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles”(Wolpert 1).
This quote shows that the absence of critical thinking skills is something very possible and is starting up in our society. By conforming with society and using the seashell radio, Mildred loses any critical thinking skills she had. OverallI, conforming with society and using the seashell adio just like the ideal citizen, Mildred, gets rid of many of the mind’s capabilities. These capabilities can range anywhere from the necessity of communicating in life, to getting rid of the mind’s memory which is necessary in many aspects of life.
In conclusion, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, presents the dangers of conformity through the works of Mildred Montag who is society’s ideal drone. Mildred Montag is a fireman’s wife who is controlled and shaped into society’s perfect citizen. She keeps a seashell radio in her ear preventing any thoughts, ideas, or memories she may have, which completely withdraws most of her mind’s skills. Mildred also hates books and believes they are meaningless, which is an average characteristic of people at the time.
A third characteristic of her that makes her an ideal citizen is that she is an emotionless and desensitized robot. The dangers of these characteristics are far worse than they may seem, they stretch anywhere from completely debilitating their choice making skills to completely destroying their memory. What is even scarier is that every single one of these issues we have seen before, from the Nazis burning books, to people keeping earbuds in their ears, these issues are not at all as far fetched as they may seem.