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Future question In the book Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury, Identify Bradbury's Vision of...

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moocow554 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM via web

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Future question

In the book Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury, Identify Bradbury's Vision of any aspect of the future he predicts in the book. Indicate any evidence of the vision in the text. Then say whether you believe he was right about what he envisioned,l providing evidence from OUR world

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 19, 2012 at 11:08 PM (Answer #2)

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You can argue that he's right because we do exhibit some characteristics of this world.  Mainly, we have all sorts of devices to keep us entertained in relatively mindless ways.  However, the idea that this would choke off our intellectual curiosity and our freedom of speech has not come true in any significant way.  We have not become a nation of people who refuse to think or to speak our minds.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM (Answer #3)

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Bradbury seems to have always worried that television would destroy our humanity. It was a common theme in his writing. In this book, he describes a world where people do not read books, and indeed books are eliminated, as a sad, stark, depressing and horrifying world.
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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:43 AM (Answer #4)

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When I first read this novel, the idea that there might someday huge television sets that would cover large portions of walls seemed something that might happen in the far-off future. Today that possibility does not seem so difficult to imagine.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 20, 2012 at 7:51 AM (Answer #5)

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I would echo vangoghfan here and look at the specific detail prediction Bradbury made about the increasing size of televisions. The implication of the expanding television size is a symbolic implication. Entertainment and intentional distractions have become more central to American life today than they once were.

(Is it fair to say that the increasing size of TV screens mimics an increasing importance or centrality of the television in the living room, the house, and our lives?)

Depending on how we interpret Bradbury's depiction of the programs that Mildred watches, we can see the shows as "reality tv" or as soap operas. That could be another specific detail of our culture that Bradbury predicted.

 

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 20, 2012 at 9:20 AM (Answer #6)

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What's curious is that the novel envisions a world where books would not be found in the culture at large, and are kept only by a dedicated underground. In today's culture, books, like newspapers, are disappearing, not because they are forbidden by the totalitarian state, but because of technological advances.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM (Answer #7)

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One aspect that Bradbury focuses on is the role of the media in the future and how it ultimately cheapens and debases human life as people become transfixed with reality TV. This is certainly something we could argue that he got completely right, as the rise of reality TV shows demonstrates. People seem to be more fascinated at times with reality TV than with their own lives.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 21, 2012 at 2:45 AM (Answer #8)

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Bradbury also worried about the all powerful, omnipresent State, embodied in his story.  I don't think our current government approaches the degree of Bradbury's story, but there are some elements that are similar.  We live in an electronic world, and the ease with which the government can access our email, internet usage histories, financial records and transactions as well as cell phone use and location gives me a Big Brother feeling at times.  Americans are largely ambivalent about it too, adopting the same attitude as is in the story, that if you aren't doing anything wrong, why worry about it?  The printed book is slowly dying in America too, just like in the story, but for different reasons.

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM (Answer #9)

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Responding to the posters who mentioned reality TV, Bradbury did in fact predict just that in the book; Montag is chased by the Mechanical Hound, and the event is broadcast for entertainment. Compare that with Fear Factor and other shows where people are debased or discomforted for our amusement. Bradbury is on record saying how much he hates television; even now the common view of the book as a warning against oppressive government takes second place to Bradbury's specific meaning of warning against television (all else negative in the book stems from that one innovation).

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM (Answer #10)

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Bradbury described the future as a time where a person's every choice would be determined by what the authorized media presented. This is undeniable true for today, though in varying degrees for varying groups. How a person looks, what speech patterns are used, how a person walks, a person's idea of humor, all are determined by what is seen and heard in "authorized" media.

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