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Why is it appropriate that the "Denham's dentifrice" commercial kept interfering with...

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handertu | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM via web

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Why is it appropriate that the "Denham's dentifrice" commercial kept interfering with Montag's reading of the Bible in Fahrenheit 451?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:33 AM (Answer #1)

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I do not think that what the ad was really mattered.  I think that what is important here is just that Montag keeps being interrupted and, more importantly, that it is an ad that keeps interrupting him.

Montag is trying to read and think.  But his society really does not want people doing these things.  Instead, it wants people to focus on material things.  This is why it is so appropriate that an ad is distracting Montag -- society wants ads and material things to distract people from thinking.

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thetall | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 28, 2015 at 12:05 PM (Answer #2)

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It is appropriate that the commercial kept interfering with Montag’s reading of the bible in order to demonstrate the extent of the government’s control over people’s minds. Just like in their houses through the TV walls, even while on transit, people’s minds are still being controlled. Through the constant repetition of tailored information from the commercial, people’s minds remain fully engaged to an extent that they have no time to think independently. In addition to that, the transmission was deliberately done at such high volume in order to deter any conversation among commuters. The interruption of Montag’s reading shows that the government had successfully achieved its mission: even Montag, an enlightened individual, could hardly think of anything else other than the commercial.

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