What are some examples of satire in the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury?

What are some examples of satire in the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury?  

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury satirizes society by exaggerating, ridiculing, and criticizing various aspects of American culture. Bradbury satirizes society's fascination with entertainment through Mildred's obsession with her 'parlor walls.' At the beginning of the novel, she argues with Montag about buying a fourth 'parlor wall.' She says,

If we had a fourth wall, why it'd be just like this room wasn't ours at all, but all kinds of exotic people's rooms. We could do without a few things (Bradbury 18).

Bradbury also satirizes America's education system and society's infatuation with sports. When Clarisse discusses a typical day at school with Montag, she describes it as

An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher (Bradbury 27).

When Montag seeks Faber's advice about how to understand the texts he has been reading, Faber notices Montag has brought a Bible with him. Faber takes the Bible and begins to flip through its pages. He says,

It's as good as I remember. Lord, how they've changed it in our 'parlors' these days. Christ is one of the 'family' now. I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs (Bradbury 78).

In this conversation between Faber and Montag, Bradbury satirizes the commercialization of religion. He satirizes how American society has used sacred religious figures to market products by appealing to consumers' emotions.

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question