How do the details and the setting support and enrich the story line in Fahrenheit 451?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bradbury's use of detail and setting absolutely enrich the story line by providing a rich, believable backdrop that reinforces the dystopian elements of Fahrenheit 451.  One of Bradbury's more creative elements in the story is the futuristic time period of the 1990's; the author enriches the believability of the story by including details like the occurence of two atomic wars and the advanced technology of the wall-sized 'telescreens,' and the 'sea shell' radio sets that attach to people's ears, and society's predilection for driving too fast. 

Rather than letting these futuristic details be empty novelties, Bradbury incorporates them into the storyline as elements that do figure significantly to the plot; for example, much of the novel deals with the constrast between books and the easy acceptance of mass media and TV consumption.  The details influence characterization; Montag's wife, Millie, has an addiction to watching her telescreens, and Clarisse is killed by a speeding car.  Even the end of the novel reflects the futuristic setting, as the city is fire-bombed and completely destroyed.