What is the Mechanical Hound in the story Fahrenheit 451 being compared to?
The Mechanical Hound in Fahrenheit 451 by American writer Ray Bradbury is being compared to a relentless totalitarian government and also conforming society that seeks out dissenters that do not think like they do. The Mechanical Hound follows its programming to hunt down those who oppose the policies that the government dictates.
In essence, the Mechanical Hound of Fahrenheit 451 is looked upon as a manufactured protector by the totalitarian government and also citizens who conform to the dictates of this government as a means of protecting themselves from unpleasant consequences.
The Mechanical Hound, fundamentally, in so many words, is compared to a hunter that seeks prey to devour that is viewed as harmful to the status quo. The Mechanical Hound is an impersonal mechanism that takes the "heat off", so to speak, of specific individuals, real people and government officials, who are behind the actions of this prowling menace.
The Hound is a tool of the Fire Department, whose role is to start fires, not put them out. They burn books because they are deemed a menace to society because they encourage individual thought contrary to the policies of the government.
The Fire Department is looked upon as the bad guys because they administer the Mechanical Hound. They "take the heat", for the most part, in the governments stead for this Hound that is compared to a revealer of inappropriate actions by dissident individuals.