What major moral and social problems are explored in Fahrenheit 451?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Socially, Fahrenheit 451 exposes the relational voids that a world filled with technology will produce. Mildred is a perfect example of this. She needs her sea shells in her ears and she needs the parlor walls to be her family. What she fails to realize is that she has a husband in front of her longing for engagement. However, their distance is so routine that he doesn't even know how to initiate relationship with her. Clarisse is an example that demonstrates the value of human relationships, but her character is treated as odd and distracted in this society. She longs to have relationships and talks with people. Having her character mysteriously disappear further demonstrates Bradbury's attitude that relationships were becoming increasingly unimportant in a society longing to become more dependent on technology.

Morally, thought is restricted and discouraged in the society presented in Fahrenheit 451. This book is often touted for the censorship issues uncovered, but beyond that is the right to think. It is inherently wrong to not allow someone to think. We see this at work as the firemen burn every book they discover. Books offer perspective. Thoughts other than what the establishment had to offer were not allowed in this society. Those, like Mildred, who chose to be uninformed were completely accepting of this.

Fahrenheit 451 is an important and relevant text to consider today because of the moral and social problems presented.


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