Fahrenheit 451 and In Time

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6.8 billion cell phones have been sold. We only have 7 billion people in the world. Of those people, the average adult spends 11 hours interacting with some sort of technology.

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People sleep for 8 hours, on average, so that leaves 5 hours that the average person is thinking for themselves, without the influence of technology. However, that 5 hours is interrupted, because the average American checks their phone every 10 minutes. Of those 5 hours, what time are we given to learn? How are you to divide up 5 hours to include free time, relaxation, fun and work? As a whole, our society is extremely dependent on technology. Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451 expands on society’s dependence on technology, creating a world where technology has more power than people, and where people’s knowledge is restricted. In Fahrenheit 451, Montag, a fireman, spends his days burning books. That’s his job. Their government has taken censorship to a new level. In the movie In Time, Andrew Niccol presents us to Will. Will lives in a society where people stop aging at the age of 25, but then their clock starts counting. When the clock reaches 0, they have run out of time, and they die. Time is money. To eat, they must pay with time, and when they work, they recieve time. Will is living in the poorest area and is lucky if he has a day on his clock at any given time. In the higher districts, the rich live with hundreds and even billions of years, not having to worry about death. Though both Fahrenheit 451 and In Time discuss technology, one is much more convincing than the other in conveying the warning that when given control, technology forms a parasitic relationship with society.

In capturing the character differences between Mildred and Montag by using characterization, Bradbury is able to illustrate the parasitic relationship that technology plays within their society since they have given the technology the power to control them. Mildred and Montag live in a society where books are burned. Technology is their entire world. Mildred, Montag’s wife, has the parlour walls playing a fictional depiction of characters which she terms as her family. She’s watching her family, but she is not closely paying attention to them. Montag, who is not feeling well, wants Mildred to turn off the parlour walls. Mildred responds, That’s my family (Bradbury 48). This quote tells a great deal about the society in which the two live. Mildred refuses to turn off the parlour walls because her ‘family’ is on it, she prefers to listen to the technology over her husband. This shows that their versions of reality and fiction are blurred. Mildred genuinely believes that her family is what is on the screen. Bradbury uses characterization with this quote to tell us more about Mildred’s lack of personal connection to real people like Montag,

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