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What are some features of the society of Fahrenheit 451 that make it ideal or fair?

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cheesypeas123 | Student, Grade 10

Posted December 2, 2010 at 12:42 PM via web

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What are some features of the society of Fahrenheit 451 that make it ideal or fair?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 2, 2010 at 8:35 PM (Answer #1)

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The only quality of the society that I see as good is the quality dealing with the immediate actions of the emergency crew that Montag called to his house.  Early in part one, Montag comes home to find his wife, Mildred, nearly dead from having taken an overdose of sleeping pills.  He calls the emergency hospital and medical technicians come to his house with a couple of machines that pumped out Mildred's stomach and then cleansed her blood.  Mildred lives and has no memory of the incident and no ill effects.  In a society as cold and alienated as the one in the story, this sort of immediate action and cure seems almost out of place.  What it shows us though, is that this society is so accustomed to people taking overdoses that they have the handling of the situation perfected.  It's a sad society where people are either so willing to take their own lives or so careless with lethal drugs.  It further accents the coldness of the people.

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 2, 2010 at 11:37 PM (Answer #2)

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That is an interesting question, because it assumes that their society is ideal, and tha it is fair.  One of the main points of this novel is that it is impossible to be equal, fair or the same without some serious negative repercussions not only to society, but also to one's well-being and happiness.  Sure, everyone in Montag's society was equally entertained, equally mindless, and equally accepting of life as it was.  But to get to that point, they had to give up individuality, self-esteem (instead replacing it with an unhealthy focus on appearances), freedom, intelligence, and the ability to think for oneself.  They stifled creativity (unless in entertainment) and stereotyped those that DID think or stand out. So, the society presented is not fair at all to people who want to use their own minds to figure things out; in fact, it is downright dangerous to those types.  It's an ideal place for people who don't want to think, but to simply be entertained and distracted their entire lives.

Their society is only ideal if you want a non-thinking society that is subconsciously miserable.  Their society is only ideal if you want a society that foster true thought or freedom.  They do have ideal entertainment, and as mentioned above, ideal response crews to medical emergencies.  Also, they have the ideal police task force:  firemen who love their jobs and a mechanical hound that almost always gets its target, with little effort or damage caused in the meantime.  Their society is ideally positioned to maintain order and control amongst its people--even if that does mean at the cost of happiness and freedom.

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