What warnings about our own world are suggested by Bradbury in the society he depicts in Chapter 1 of "Fahrenheit 451"?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Among the warnings applicable to our world that Bradbury suggests are those concerning censorship, intellectualism, mechanization, technology and the media, and drugs and the pursuit of immediate gratification.

The society Bradbury depicts carries the idea of censorship to its extreme conclusion.  Fire departments exist for the sole purpose of burning books, all of which have been banned.  Books are dangerous because they give people ideas and encourage free thought.  By banning the source of all intellectualism, a population has been created that can be completely controlled.

Mechanization is criticized in the embodiment of the mechanical hound, soulless, deadly in intent, and sinisterly unpredictable.  Although programmed by humans, it does not always perform as planned, and with its lethal capabilities, it raises the question of who is in control.

Bradbury addresses the anesthesizing, brainwashing capabilities of the media, and the technology which brings it to us. Television screens can be installed on all four walls of a room, and viewers can immerse themselves in passive intake of endless programming which shape and distort their perception of reality so that even the imminence of catastrophic war means nothing.

Finally, Bradbury warns about a mindset where immediate gratification is the ultimate goal.  Medication is always needed to provide instant comfort and relief.

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question