Take with what the characters are saying so

Take a moment to stop and look around where you’re sitting. What do you notice? Do you see gadgets, interactive computers, biometric sensors, or even a smartphone? These are all tech appliances that could be surrounding you at the moment. The personal computer at your desk, the wifi router in the center of your house, the cell phone next to your bed, or even the thermostat are all examples of how technological advances interact in our daily lives. In the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, both authors write about the fact that the advance of technology is tremendously shaping our society. Bradbury and Vonnegut’s’ fictional dystopias are trying to warn future generations that people are becoming mindless through technological advances and that people’s voices could greatly have a impact on society and newly created laws or regulations. The use of television is an example of government control in both dystopias.Television is responsible for replacing literature, intrusiveness, and interactionism in Fahrenheit 451. It became a substitute for regular human interaction. People in this type of society believe that not thinking harms them. One of the main characters Mildred is in an absence state of mind. She uses TV to watch a reality TV type of show to escape from her life. She had her husband Montag cover all four walls in a room with television screens, this way she could be hands on with the show. To Mildred this show is her family. She is completely blind from her actual surroundings and only engages interest to the television. She also has a script she follows to actually go along with what the characters are saying so she can almost be in the show herself. This insane addiction goes for almost all of society as well. Television has sucked them into a virtual reality. Mildred exclaims to Montag “How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth wall- TV put in? It’s only two thousand dollars.” Montag follows up with “That’s one third of my yearly pay.” She concludes with “It’s only two thousand dollars, and I should think you’d consider me sometimes”(Bradbury 20). At this point Montag is thinking about how technology has gotten in between him and his wife’s marriage and daily life style. Instead of bringing them closer together and doing them good, it’s distancing them. Bradbury made it very distinctive the role technology will play in the future far before it actually happened. He wrote the book in the early 1950s when it was set for the far out future. Not to mention, the short story  “Harrison Bergeron” had almost the same message given to the reader. This story is based on a society whose attempt was to create a perfect world however the complete opposite is the case. Vonnegut wrote the story in 1961 in the middle of the Cold War. The story starts in 2081, where government had established equality for all citizens. All of this “equality” was settled by the 211th, 212th and 213th Amendments to the Constitution and agents of the Handicapper Generals. This concept seems reasonable but in reality actually caused complete disorder. If your intelligence was way above normal, you were forced to wear a mental handicap radio in your ear. This way people couldn’t take unfair advantages of their brains. If you were very pretty, beyond the “normal look” you had to wear a mask that would eliminate jealousy and self confidence issues. Finally if you were very buff and strong, weights were put on your shoulders to carry around. The story went something like this: two main characters Hazel and George Bergeron are in their living room watching ballerinas on television. The ballerinas aren’t very attractive or light on their feet like normal ballerinas because they are weighed down with heavy bags to make them as undelighted and awkward as the rest of society. Hazel does not need a handicap she is already average or below average as needed. However George is highly intelligent, but is sadly handicapped by having a small ear radio distracting him from any hard thinking or concentration. So, suddenly they see there on Harrison has escaped from jail and is at the ballerina studio. He says “I am the emperor. Do you hear? I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!”(3/4) Harrison is supposedly planning on overthrowing the government. He is said to be remarkably intelligent, very sophisticated and under- handicapped. He takes off all his handicaps and everyone watching television sees how extraordinary he is. He dances with one of the ballerinas and does something no one would do. Before he knew it a government official known as the Handicapper General shot him in front of all. This way quality was restored. This action showed the reader how government control played a huge role in this story. Hazel turned to George but he had gotten up to get a beer. George came back with a beer to find his wife with tears on her face. He asks her what happened and she too seems to be dumbfounded by the situation. All she says was “something real sad on television” (5). Without television government wouldn’t have the control it does. Since everyone saw the risk of disobeying the law, they would know to follow the rules or else be punished.


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