Why did emergency hospitals send technicians instead of doctors to treat Mildred in Fahrenheit 451?no

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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One of the main themes of the story deals with alienation. Bradbury's story shows how the society has become detached from one another.  Clarisse says, early in the story as she is talking with Montag, that no one just talks anymore.  She is considered odd, in fact, because she likes to talk and her family likes to talk with one another.  She even has to explain to Montag that at one time, people used to sit on their front porches and converse with their neighbors.  This detachment from one another, which has come about because of the emphasis on having fun, getting things done quickly, and a general emphasis away from thinking, has created a great deal of loneliness.  The technicians tell Montag when he questions why they came and not a doctor that they gets nine or ten of these cases a night.  The implication is that it is very common for people to overdose, whether it is accidental or intentional.  The technicians have a machine that pumps out her blood, filtering it along the way, and then puts it back into her.  The technicians are cleanly efficient, there is no nurturing and it is all over rather quickly.  At the end of the story, Granger tells Montag that the difference between a gardener and a lawncutter is "touch".  The same idea applies here.  The difference between a doctor and a technician, in this story, is "touch".  Mildred was tended to by technicians who didn't really have to touch her or care for her the way a doctor would.  The technicians, like the lawn cutter, merely go through mechanical motions with little feeling involved.  It all comes back to the detachment, or alienation, prevalent in the society of the novel.

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