In Fahrenheit 451, what is the social commentary that is being provided in section 2; The Sieve and The Sand?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout Part Two: "The Sieve and the Sand," Bradbury provides a social commentary on the dystopian society through Montag's conversation with Faber and his experience with Mildred's friends. When Montag allows Faber to look through the Bible, Faber mentions that it is a shame how advertisers and the media have commercialized religion. Montag then begins to explain his unhappiness and Faber mentions that Montag is in search of some of the things that books provide. Faber goes on to explain how the populace desires comfort and does not wish to critique themselves. The majority of citizens have no desire to reflect on their behavior. He says,

"The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless" (Bradbury 79).

Faber also mentions how the society neglects individuality. Society does not value intellectual thought and is content listening to their parlor walls and Seashell radios. Faber also comments on how the citizens do not have any leisure time. They live in a world where everything is immediate and do not have time to think.

Later on, Montag enters his home and listens to a conversation between Mildred and her friends. Mrs. Phelps mentions how she doesn't care about her children and Mrs. Bowles discusses why she decided to vote for President Noble. Bradbury also portrays the dystopian society's affinity for war and lack of compassion. Overall, the citizens refuse to examine their lives and society. They fear being critiqued and prefer to live a superficial life.

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Fahrenheit 451

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