Fahrenheit 451 Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 book cover
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How would today's society compare to the society in the novel Fahrenheit 451 regarding the theme of war?  

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451, the dystopian society that Montag lives in is continually involved in wars overseas. Bradbury does not provide specific detail as to who the enemy of the state is, which makes war rather ambiguous. The ambiguity attached to the war taking place in the novel is similar to wars which are ongoing in today's society. In present-day America, there is a constant war on terrorism that seems to be unending. Overseas, America is fighting against multiple terrorist organizations which are continually evolving and changing. The enemy is rather ambiguous, just like in the novel.

The American public's attitude towards the continual wars in the Middle East is similar to the attitudes of the characters throughout the novel. In the novel, Mildred's friends express their indifference towards the war. Many Americans are dismissive of the wars in the Middle East because they are unattached and disinterested.

In the novel, Mrs. Phelps mentions that her husband was called back to the Army again to fight in a quick, forty-eight hour war. Although wars in today's society last much longer than forty-eight hours, politicians and generals seem to always exaggerate the brevity of conflicts to appease the American public. Atomics bombs are also mentioned throughout the novel, and Montag's dystopian city is utterly destroyed when one is dropped towards the end of the story. In today's society, the threat of a nuclear conflict is real. Recently, tensions have escalated between Russia and America that could possibly result in a nuclear war in the future.

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