Describe the TV program the ladies watched in Fahrenheit 451. Does it remind you of anything in our world?

Asked on by sandrianne

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sboeman | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The program that Mildred and her guests, Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles, watch is quite odd.  It is from "The Sieve and the Sand" - pgs. 93-94 in my edition.

The "wonderful" program (as the ladies call it) begins with a woman smiling while drinking orange juice and talking at the same time.  The TV then shows an x-ray of her stomach, then "...the room [takes] off on a rocket flight into the clouds...."  Montag then watches what seems to be senseless cartoon violence: fish eating other fish, clowns chopping off each other's limbs, etc.  Throughout all of these violent images, laughter can be heard.  The program segment finally ends with what seems to be a rather violent game of smash-up-derby complete with bodies flying in the air.  Montag, with his newfound insight, views all of this with extreme dislike.

As for how this relates to our own world, perhaps Bradbury is commenting on how people can become desensitized to violence - if we view it enough, it becomes "normal".  The book, though, was written in the 1950's, so perhaps Bradbury was simply speculating.  It is rather obvious that there are all kinds of violent programs and scenes viewed by the people in our culture - any prime-time TV show or movie could have numerous violent images.  Also, consider the shows that focus primarily on violence, such as the UFC; 1,000 Ways to Die; etc.

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