This shows some parallels between the fictional society in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and today’s world.
In 1953, Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451, was a very futuristic science fiction novel. However, as time progresses, Bradbury’s predicted future society is becoming more of a reality than anyone would want to imagine. While society is not yet banning and burning books, certain aspects of Bradbury’s fictional world are now becoming more prevalent.
Novels, plays, and poetry used to be a huge part of culture long before modern technology came around. People would spend their leisure time reading books, going to watch plays, or even writing prose themselves. Nowadays, people are cutting down on their leisure time and when they do have some available, not many people choose to read. This has led to novels and plays being censored and shortened so that people can get the short version of the story and feel satisfied. Increasingly more books are also being made into motion pictures now so that the time it takes to get the story through is shortened. This also has another ghastly effect; people are not imagining new things. All of the imaginative parts of reading have been done for the reader when he/she watches a movie. This greatly dulls the creative process of future artists. In Fahrenheit 451, society has already gone so far as to not read anything but advertisements and short phrases. In Guy Montag’s world, nobody writes stories anymore not only because it is banned, but also because there is no one that has the imaginative process needed to create a novel.
With the creative process being cut out, today’s people are already moving away from the arts and more towards the sciences. Less people are focused in languages, music and writing, and more focused on physics, biology, or medicine. While scientists are needed, there needs to be a balance, one that society does not currently have. If this trend continues, all the questions asked will be about how something works and not why it works since science is all about how objects work. This will lead to blindly obeying future leaders and not knowing why a certain task is being carried out. This “how versus why concept” is shown in Fahrenheit 451 when Beatty is talking to Montag about Clarisse McClellan. Beatty mentioned that Clarisse always wanted to know why something worked, but not how. This is part of what led to Clarisse disappearing.
Though Bradbury’s predicted society is similar to today’s, there are still some differences where Bradbury’s predictions went wrong. Initially, the twenty-four hour banks mentioned in Fahrenheit 451 has not yet become a reality and do not seem to be anywhere near completion. The technology needed to build “humanized” robots is not yet available. Though the knowledge is not here today, robot-run twenty-four hour banks may come into play far off in the future. Another difference is the jet car prediction. While cars are steadily getting faster and lighter, not all cars are able to reach 130 mph nor allowed too. The biggest contrast between the modern world and Bradbury’s predicted future is the firemen. Since the founding of the first fire department, firemen have had the duty to put out fires. However, in Fahrenheit 451, firemen are used to start fires in people’s houses and wherever books are found. This seems like Bradbury’s most far-fetched prediction, but unfortunately, with Bradbury’s accuracy, this prediction may end up coming true.
Regrettably, the culture and society found in Fahrenheit 451, are becoming more science than science fiction. With all of Bradbury’s accurate predictions, it becomes even more frightening to imagine what the world will be like if more of his predictions actually happen. From aggressive jet cars to censoring and shortening books, Bradbury’s predictions do not look good for humanity.