In Fahrenheit 451, how does the media affect the people around Montag? Please refer to examples and characters.

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the most obvious way to respond to this question is by looking at the impact of the media on Mildred and her friends, and how Montag despairs of the impact it is having on his wife. Clearly, by the way that Mildred talks about her "family," we see that the media in this dystopian world is being used as a substitute for human experiences that are either deemed as being too dangerous or subversive by the government or are slowly being bred out of humans as they seek to fill their empty lives with something to try and cover up the void. The media is as life like as possible, with huge screens covering every wall. Yet Montag is painfully aware that these are fake emotions and feelings that are created that are not real and do not have any existence in the real world.

Note the following questions that Montag asks Mildred that highlights the limitations of the media:

"Mille? Does the White Clown love you?"

No answer.

"Millie, does-" He licked his lips. "Does your 'family' love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?"

Millie ignores and evades this question, saying it is a "silly question," but the fact remains that Montag has exposed the substitute relationships and emotional interaction that Mildred is receiving from the media, and what pale substitutes they actually are.

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Fahrenheit 451

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