What does Captain Beatty say about entertainment the morning AFTER he and Montag visit the old lady's house?  What role and purpose does technology and entertainment have in Fahrenheit 451?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Montag is so disturbed by the woman's act of lighting the match that burned a thousand books as well as herself that he remains at home the next day. He tells his wife Mildred,

"There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing."

Then, Captain Beatty arrives after realizing that Montag is not coming to work. He offers Montag an explanation of the conditions under which they now live. Beatty states that once, when books were rather a novelty, only a few scattered  people found them intriguing, and so books could "afford to be different." But, with the invention of technology--photography, radio, television, and films, things began to be mass produced; and, with such mass production, ideas could be simplified and freduced to a "sort of paste pudding" norm, with unusual or radical thought eliminated. In this way, then, a person came

"Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries of more."

Thoughts were reduced by the leveling of entertainment so everyone could understand them. Books were, then, censored or made politically correct so that no particular group would be offended. Most importantly, no objections were made to such actions as people wanted to be happy more than they wished to be aware of their world.

Life is now just  immediate so that people can remain "happy all the time" since "[T]he bigger the market...the less you handle controversy."

Thus, the mindless entertainment that is broadcast upon the walls of Montag's house now reduce thoughts to the level of mere shallowness.