In Fahrenheit 451, how does the media uses fear to influence the public into coercion?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A great place to look at in this novel to answer this question is the scene towards the end when Montag has the rather eerie sensation of watching his own escape and eventual "capture" by the Mechanical Hound, displayed as yet another entertainment feature. The fact that such events are filmed and cut for audience enjoyment and pleasure sends a very obvious and direct message to the audience about what their fate may be if they do not obey the rules and toe the line. Note what Granger says about Montag's "capture":

See how our camera is coming in? Building the scene. Suspense. Long shot. Right now, some poor fellow is out for a walk. A rarity. An odd one... And today, it turns out, [he's] very usable indeed. It saves face.

The media is represented as a force that helps sustain and create the totalitarian power of the government in this future society through the way that they make entertainment out of the arrest and probable deaths of other citizens. The warning is always there, everytime you turn on your TV screens.