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Fahrenheit 451 offers several pointed critiques of modern life. First is the alienation and shallowness of thought and culture that Bradbury is suggesting could accompany the growth of mass culture and technology. In the book, people, especially Montag's wife, have embraced these things to the exclusion of independent thought. Bradbury also worries about the effects of apathy, another consequence of modern life. People have ceased to care what is really true, or that they lack basic freedoms. The novel reflects contemporary concerns, as it was written in the midst of the 1950s, a time when technological marvels like the television were popping up in people's homes. It was also a time of heightened concerns about the spread of communism, when politicians such as Joseph McCarthy stoked popular fears about political nonconformists.
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