In the first pages of Fahrenheit 451, does technology improve the quality of life for Montag and his wife, Mildred?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Technology clearly does not improve the quality of life that the Montags enjoy.  At the beginning of the book, Guy Montag seems to think that it does, but by the time he gets home and is in his bedroom, we see that it does not.

At the very start of the book, technology seems beneficial.  The descriptions of the subway train and the escalator are very appealing.  They make it seem as if these conveniences have made Montag's life better.  However, the scene in his bedroom after he has met Clarisse show just how empty technology has actually made the Montags' lives.

In that scene, we are shown that technology has essentially made Mildred's life cold and barren.  She is described as being like a corpse.  We are told that the technology is like an ocean and that Mildred drowns in it every night.  These are not the sorts of images that would make us feel that her quality of life has been improved by technology.

From this, it is clear that technology may have made life convenient, but it has also robbed it of meaning.  The scene in the bedroom makes it clear that the Montags' quality of life has been harmed by the technology.