Why does Ray Bradbury use technology and happiness as some of his themes for the book Fahrenheit 451? Thank you. :)

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

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Both of those themes are something that Bradbury's readers will be familiar with.  Bradbury shows how people in his stories are constantly trying to fill any stagnant part of their lives with some kind of motion or entertainment.  They drive fast, always have headphones in their ears, and watch TV all the time.  This is to drown out any thoughts of sadness or depression.  Bradbury's not far off.  The current media consumption is over seven hours per day for kids under the age of 18.  It's not too often that I see people simply taking in a moment of silence and solitude.  

Bradbury's use of technology helps illustrate the happiness theme.  In the story, people are trying to use as much technology as they can in order to "fill" their lives with happiness or motion in order to avoid sadness.  Here's an interesting thought though: how can you know what true happiness is if you never experience sadness?  

The other thing that Bradbury's technology theme seems to indicate is that technology is becoming a perversion of nature.  It's not by chance that Bradbury refers to flying things like insects, stomach pumping tools like snakes, seashells in people's ears, and spider hounds.  Most of that technology is being used in destructive ways against the population or to control the population.  Not exactly a positive outlook on technology. 

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