In the future society of Fahrenheit 451, everyone lived a very fast-paced life and started to lose their value over time. As described in the novel, drivers go so fast they “don’t know what grass is, or flowers because they never see them slowly,” Clarisse said “If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! He’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows.” (Bradbury 6) Showing that people are growing to be more impatient and always in a rush. This can also be seen in our society today, people demanded not only fast cars but also other faster technologies, faster phones, faster computers, faster wifi… We want things to take less time to complete as we are more impatient than before. Living in this type of lifestyle, books started to seem too slow and boring compared to new media technologies available. In Fahrenheit 451, people preferred the parlor screens (TV) instead of reading. Mildred, the protagonist Montag’s wife, is bonded to the parlor screens and can’t live without them. And the parlor screen has replaced real-life relationships with actual people. In the novel Montag sees this happening in Mildred and asked her “‘Will you turn the parlor off?” and she replied“That’s my family.”(Bradbury 46) Demonstrating how Mildred and other “typical” citizens are bonded to technologies such as the parlor that they even refuse to have any conversations or relationships with their family.
Calling entertainment your family may sound ridiculous in our society, but really our lives aren’t that different. The people on our TV such as celebrities and TV show characters have also become our “family” in some way. We spend lots of time with them, quote them, and even wish to be like them. For some people, their “family” in TV plans their life, they create their schedule base on when and what TV shows are playing. While having such a close relationship with their “family” on TV, people are losing opportunities of having closer relationships with those around them, including family and neighbors. Through this idea in Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury is warning us if we get to bonded to technologies, we will lose real-life relationships with people around us and become very isolated. Spreading the message to spend less time with “family” on the screens, so you can put in more time and effort to have a relationship with your actual family.
In Fahrenheit 451, Mildred lived a very unfulfilling life because she didn’t have any connection or relationship with anyone “real”, all she had was her “family” in her parlor. Being bonded for hours every day to the parlor walls, Mildred didn’t have anything to live for and had no motivation to accomplish anything. Because of the unfulfilling life, Mildred had to go through every day, she had attempted suicide by trying to overdose on sleeping pills. The parlor walls were the only thing she had, and Mildred used it as an outlet to try to numb herself and escape her life. This lifestyle where a person gets completely disconnected from the world is considered a typical person’s life in Fahrenheit 451. Indeed, a society like this is a scary place to live in, but our society today does have some similarities and shows hints of heading in the same direction. As technologies continue to advance today, people are becoming more and more reliable on them. Phones, computers, and other electronics are now essentials in our lives. It’s not yet to the point where everyone is addicted and that’s the only thing they lived for, but our society is developing towards that direction. An average American spends about 11 hours a day on screens, and that number is only rising every year (Fottrell 2018). Life with no purpose often leads to addictions and is very dangerous, for Mildred, she used TV as an outlet which the parlor walls themselves do not impact her physical health much. However, others could have chosen drugs and alcohol which are very harmful to their health if they are addicted to them. Through Mildred’s lifestyle, Bradbury is warning us by being too attached to technologies such as TV and phones, you could lose your purpose in life by becoming addicted to these technologies. Making you not passionate about anything, lose motivation in accomplishing anything, therefore living a meaningless life.