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In Fahrenheit 451, why did emergency hospital send technicians instead of doctors to...

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user9820959 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:27 AM via web

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In Fahrenheit 451, why did emergency hospital send technicians instead of doctors to treat Mildred?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 21, 2013 at 3:48 PM (Answer #1)

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In Montag's society, books are burnt, creative thinking is discouraged, and people are encouraged to live vicariously through the flat entertainment on their parlour walls. In short, people are conditioned to behave like robots. When Montag talks to Clarisse and begins to awake from this oppressive, robotic existence, he becomes less robotic and more human. 

When he is in the early stages of this awakening, he considers how inhuman he has been. In thinking about his wife and how little they share, he is troubled by the fact that Mildred can not even remember how they met. Then, contemplating how the technicians came when she overdosed, the narrator describes his thoughts: 

And he thought of her lying on the bed with two technicians standing straight over her, not bent with concern, but only standing straight, arms folded. And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn't cry. 

Montag realizes that the technician's lack of concern for Mildred is similar to the lack of concern he and Mildred had for each other. This reveals a larger social problem that Montag will become more aware of as the novel progresses. He has been living in a society where human emotion and creativity have been stifled. So, whether it is interpersonal relationships or general social concern, Montag realizes that people have been treating people with the coldness of machines. It is perhaps not a coincidence that Bradbury notes that the Mechanical Hound (also in Part One) is to be checked by technicians. 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM (Answer #2)

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The technicians also mention that a doctor was not sent because, over the past few years, these overdoses had become a common occurrence; a problem that would not require a doctor. They have become so common that the remedy is essentially treated like a plumbing problem. The stomach is pumped and the blood is extracted and replaced. Montag is angry at the impersonal and nonchalant attitude of the technicians but as they say, it is a common occurrence. 

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