How do I write an expository on the prompt, "The major challenge posed by new technology is whether or not it will be used for positive or negative ends " in reference to Gattaca and Fahrenheit 451.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the most primary elements to bring out in a topic like this is to discuss how technology is used in both works. Essentially, part of your paper is going to have to assess how technology is used in both settings.  In Niccol's world, genetic technology has been manipulated by those in the position of power to determine social class.  Those in the position of power believe their use of technology to make life better for those who are in the upper echelons of the social order.  Assessing how technology is used to establish social stratification is going to be an avenue that your work will need to discuss.

The idea of how technology is stated to make life better but actually does not can be discussed in Montag's world.  In this setting, example of technology such as the social emphasis on television or the constant state of warfare or even the mechanical hounds are examples of technology being portrayed as making life better.  Like the world that Niccol features, there might be a darker side present. The world of which Montag is a part and from which he eventually rebels is one where technology is used to lull people into a false sense of security.  As with the emphasis on television, technology is used to develop apathy, which enables those in the position of power to have more of it.  Technology is used to generate power over others and even consolidate it, as with the hound.  In both settings, technology is manipulated by those in the position of power to develop greater control over the rest of society.  It is meant to empower the few who control it and disenfranchise many others. Technology is portrayed as something good and beneficial, meant to make life easier.  The reality is that technology in both works is a source of power.

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Fahrenheit 451

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