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Does technology improve life quality for Montag and Mildred in Fahrenheit 451's initial pages?

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At the beginning of the novel, Montag's homelife is portrayed as cold, unfulfilling, and meaningless. Despite having access to advanced technology, Montag and his wife do not benefit from it and instead become more distant from each other. When Montag initially enters his home after work, all he can hear is the constant buzzing of the Seashell radios in Mildred's ears. He then steps on an empty pill bottle and realizes that his wife has overdosed on sleeping pills. Fortunately, Mildred survives after having her stomach pumped by two impersonal technicians. Mildred's dire condition indicates that she is struggling in life and is not healthy or content. The next morning, Mildred has a casual conversation about buying another interactive parlour wall television and completely denies overdosing on pills the previous night.

Despite Montag and Mildred's access to advanced technology, they do not live fulfilling lives. Their relationship is clearly strained and Mildred is more obsessed with her parlour wall TVs than she is on improving her own well-being. Mildred relies completely on technology, which only further ruins her relationship with her jaded husband. Likewise, Montag is sick of living with a woman whose only focus is her parlour wall TVs and is not in touch with reality.

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Technology clearly does not improve the quality of life that the Montags enjoy.  At the beginning of the book, Guy Montag seems to think that it does, but by the time he gets home and is in his bedroom, we see that it does not.

At the very start of the book, technology seems beneficial.  The descriptions of the subway train and the escalator are very appealing.  They make it seem as if these conveniences have made Montag's life better.  However, the scene in his bedroom after he has met Clarisse show just how empty technology has actually made the Montags' lives.

In that scene, we are shown that technology has essentially made Mildred's life cold and barren.  She is described as being like a corpse.  We are told that the technology is like an ocean and that Mildred drowns in it every night.  These are not the sorts of images that would make us feel that her quality of life has been improved by technology.

From this, it is clear that technology may have made life convenient, but it has also robbed it of meaning.  The scene in the bedroom makes it clear that the Montags' quality of life has been harmed by the technology.

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What role does technology play in Fahrenheit 451 and in the lives of Guy Montag and Mildred?

Technology acts as a significant barrier in Montag and Mildred's relationship throughout Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451. Mildred is obsessed with watching her interactive parlour wall televisions, which provides her with unlimited meaningless entertainment. The parlour walls are a significant distraction that prevent Mildred and Montag from engaging in meaningful, enlightening conversations and contributes to their unhealthy marriage. Mildred spends nearly every waking hour watching her mindless television shows and even refers to the characters of certain programs as her family. In addition to the massive parlour walls, Mildred continually wears Seashell radios in her ears. While she is wearing the Seashell radios, Mildred is also distracted and cannot communicate with her husband. Another significant piece of technology in Bradbury's dystopian society is the Mechanical Hound, which is a technologically advanced robotic machine that hunts political dissidents and criminals. The Mechanical Hound is utilized by the authoritative regime to oppress independent individuals and intellectuals, who do not conform to society. Overall, technology acts as a significant distraction in Montag and Mildred's lives, which prevents them from effectively communicating and contributes to their unhealthy marriage. Technology also acts as a deterrent to intellectuals like Montag and is used by the government to oppress and control the population.

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What role does technology play in Fahrenheit 451 and in the lives of Guy Montag and Mildred?

In Fahrenheit 451 technology becomes a method of control as it dictates laughter and entertainment, thought and obedience. "...life is immediate...pleasure lies all about....Why learn anything?" becomes the unspoken motto. 

The walls of people's living rooms reverberate with laughter, words, music, and "pure cacophony," but nothing is really said; there are no thought-provoking moments such as that which comes from reading. All that really occurs is that the senses are overwhelmed. When Montag questions his wife Mildred about the shows she watches, she is unsure of what has actually been said, remembering only that she has laughed. Yet she tells Montag that the characters on the huge screen are her "family." In addition to those devices used to entertain and pacify the public, other technological devices are utilized by the government in order to control people. For example, the Mechanical Hound "sniffs out" perpetrators, such as those who clandestinely read books. Consequently, out of fear and in order to not be under suspicion and be harassed by the Hound and the police, people turn in others, even family members as, for instance, Mildred reports Montag out of fear for herself. Without doubt, then, the technology of Fahrenheit 451 is a threat, a threat to deeper thought, to true happiness and meaning in people's lives, and a threat to people's safety and quality of life.

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In Fahrenheit 451, does technology improve the quality of life for Montag and his wife? How does technology within the novel compare to our current technology?

In Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag and his wife, Mildred, have widely disparate opinions about whether the television technology improves their quality of life. Ray Bradbury uses these differences of opinion to encourage the reader to doubt the value of the futuristic technology that he presents in the novel. The technology is tightly intertwined with the excessive materialism of the society and represents the gap between machines and people that Bradbury implies is very dangerous.

Mildred is an avid fan of the programs that are televised through the expansive parlor walls, and she identifies with the “families” or characters in them more than she does with her husband. Not only does Mildred relentlessly view these shows but she also shares her obsession with her female friends, largely to the exclusion of other topics of interest.

Montag, in contrast, has little use for the parlor walls, and he resists Mildred’s pleas to spend even more money expanding their coverage. He understands that the constant programming has expanded the gulf between him and his wife, and contributed to the deep dissatisfaction that he observes but she denies.

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