The Difference Between Satisfaction and Happiness in Fahrenheit 451
Technology is becoming greatly integrated into our everyday lives. Newer, faster, and smarter gadgets make our lives less complicated, however do they make us happier? Ray Bradbury explores computers correlation with happiness throughout his novel Fahrenheit 451: a dystopian novel based around the burning of books. “This novel is set in the future, where happiness is a greater priority than freedom” (Reverie 85). People have massive monitors and drive recklessly for the fun of it, but are discouraged from important wondering and banned from studying books. Guy Montag, the protagonist of the novel, is a fireman who is “paid to set books ablaze”. He doesn’t reflect on whether or not he’s content with his existence until Clarisse, a peculiar teenager who recently simply moved in, sparks his interest. Bradbury takes us on Montag’s journey as he realizes the negative effects of the consumer lifestyle and attempts to correct his generation mistake. Through this adventure the question at hand is humanity sincerely. Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 demonstrates that authentic happiness is not determined via materialism or cheap thrills, however alternatively the nature and relationships.
Firstly, you can argue that technology has had a negative impact on the generation although it allows us to talk with remote family and friends, transport people and items exceedingly quick, and offer news, media, and enjoyment. In the case of Fahrenheit 451, the new age has enabled the Hound: “Mechanical Hound never fails. Never since its first use in tracking quarry has this incredible invention made a mistake… nose so sensitive the Mechanical Hound can remember and identify then thousand odor indexes on ten thousand men without resetting!” (Fahrenheit 133). Imagine, if we had this in today’s world; our community might be more secure if the Hound changed into employed honorably. It would lower our requirement of police and assist the capture of elusive criminals.
Technology is not always perfect. For one, it is addicting. An example of this in Fahrenheit 451 is the parlor partitions: partitions in which you can watch TV or talk with absolutely everyone. Montag’s wife, Mildred, someone who is caught up within the commercialism and culture of their technology. This is proven in her talk with Montage.
“It’s really fun. It’ll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. 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.”
“That’s one-third of my yearly pay.”
“It’s only two thousand dollars,” she replied.
“And I should think you’d consider me sometimes. If we had a fourth wall, why it’d be just like this room wasn’t ours at all, but all kinds of exotic people’s rooms. We could do without a few things.”
“We’re already doing without a few things to pay for the third wall. It was put in only two months ago, remember?”
“Is that all it was?” (Fahrenheit 20-21).
This demonstrates Mildred’s need for more advanced technology. She is not satisfied with her current conditions, which might be outdated. Even though this type of technology is degrading different components of her existence, nevertheless she is constantly longing superior model. The happiness that the third television wall provided her has diminished and she wishes to refuel it. This instance may be directly compared to our current lives: you purchase a laptop, a smartphone, an iPad and a few months later a more recent model is released and you are left with an obsolete device. This leads to unhappiness in yourself, and jealousy of others. This materialistic way of life works in opposition to happiness. James Surowiecki explores the correlation between happiness and generations in his article Technology and Happiness, posted by means of MIT: “One of the key insights of happiness studies is that people have a very hard time being content with what they have, at least when they know that others have more” (Technology 3). In order to break out from this steady cycle of obstructive materialism that is destroying Mildred’s lifestyle, we should give up the need for more.
Secondly, Mildred and nearly every different man or woman in Bradbury’s dystopia might claim that they are satisfied. There is no one to offend you or question your ideals because everybody is equal; there are numerous sorts of entertainment and video games. Beatty, the hearth leader, explains this happiness to Montag: “I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these” (Fahrenheit 59).
The way of life Bradbury creates in Fahrenheit 451 offers brief time periods of happiness. There are different kinds of happiness: feeling satisfied and being happy. Edmundo O’Gorman clarifies the distinction in his bankruptcy “History, Technology, Pursuit of Happiness” in the book Technology and the Frontiers of Knowledge, “The former refers to a contingent possibility, the latter to a permanent state” (History 86). In other words, feeling glad comes from outside activity, like driving a vehicle fast, where as being satisfied is an inner feeling. So parlor partitions and fancy trips could make you happy, however it is only temporary. The society Bradbury provides in his novel feels satisfied, however is not actually satisfied. This is revealed through the high suicide rates and percentages. In the beginning of the novel Mildred commits suicide by consuming a bottle of drowsing pills which she denies ever taking place. When Montag comes home one evening and reveals her barely alive in bed he calls it in to emergency.
“They send over two handymen to repair Mildred. Neither of you is an M.D. Why didn’t they send an M.D. from Emergency?”
“Hell!” The operator’s cigarette moved on his lip. “We get these cases nine or ten at night. Got so many, starting a few years ago, we had the special machines built. With the optical lens, of course, that was new; the rest is ancient. You don’t need an M.D., a case like this; all you need is two handymen, clean up the problem in half an hour.” (Fahrenheit 15)
In a society whose most important aim is happiness the suicide rates are sky high. It is ironic that handymen can keep a lifestyle, whereas in these days’ society, medical doctors would be required in a situation like this. Granted, technology is not the sole purpose of high suicide rates, however it is helping aid them.
Lastly technology is juxtaposed with nature. Nature is eloquently defined by using Daneil Bell within the bankruptcy “Technology, Nature, and Society” in the book Technology and Frontiers of Knowledge: “Nature is used to denote the physical environment of the laws of matter, the “nature” of man and the “natural order” of descent” (Bell 31). In other words, nature no longer best Indicates the natural good, however additionally human nature and our way in the direction of personal relationships. The first glad individual presented in Fahrenheit 451 is Clarisse. Clarisse represents real happiness. She is new to town and not affected by the other children her age. She does not like watching television, playing sports, or now not asking questions; Clarisse wants to hike in forests, watch birds, and catch butterflies. While unhappy people have technology, Clarisse has nature. Nature is a critical factor in Fahrenheit 451. Montag loses his consumer self when Clarisse appears in the novel; she instigates natural feelings with the act of leaving a bouquet of flowers, a handful of chestnuts, or autumn leaves thumb tacked to his door. Once, whilst walking down a road the road together, Clarisse says that if you put a dandelion to your chin and pollen rubs off, you are in love; when pollen fails to land on Montag’s chin, he starts to understand that his relationship with Mildred is quite bare.
Touponce notes Clarisse’s connection to nature and notes: “She can do things with a common dandelion flower that reveal Montag’s inner being” (Reverie 93). This highlights Clarisse’s significance in the story: the harmless instigator. In addition to her connection to nature, she also has relationships where she can talk with other people without speaking approximately “cars or clothes or swimming pools” (Fahrenheit 31). In general, this is due to how she become raised. When Montag and Clarisse walk beyond Clarisse’s house he notes how peculiar it’s far that most of the lighting are on and asks her what goes on, to which she replies: “Oh, just my mother and father and uncle sitting around, talking. It’s like being a pedestrian, only rarer” (Fahrenheit 9). The extent to which talking is absent in this society is proven when lights on in a house is something abnormal. Clarisse tells Montag how she has observed the ride of violence in kids: six of her pals were shot over the course of one year. The juxtaposition between when intense violence of minors is commonplace and when a family sitting around and talking is uncommon emphasizes the quantity to which surplus technology has infiltrated the morality and judgment of society.
The ordinary relationships throughout Fahrenheit 451 are either numb or terrible. This is shown inside the novel whilst Mildred discusses having kids with Montag among her parlor friends, particularly Mrs. Bowles who’s the one within the group who has kids.
“I plunk the children in college nine days out of ten. I positioned up with them whilst they come domestic 3 days a month; it’s now not bad in any respect. You heave them into the ‘parlor’ and flip the switch. It’s like washing clothes: stuff laundry in and slam the lid.” Mrs. Bowles tittered. “They’d just as soon kick as kiss me. Thank God, I can kick back!” (Fahrenheit 96)
Mrs. Bowles has no experience of a real family; she does not love her kids, nor did she raised them. This is the normality within the dystopia Bradbury created. Mrs. Bowles relationship with her children makes Clarisse’s loving connection with her dad and mom (the normality in today’s society) seem extraordinarily peculiar. Clarisse’s happiness is derived from the time she spends within the natural world, her loving courting with the people she chooses to communicate with, and the time she does not spend on technology.
In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury creates a dystopia where humans sense satisfied but are subconsciously suicidal. This is due to the fact that this dystopia, technology is the forefront, and nature, in each worldly and human context, is non-existent. Bradbury uses his science fiction novel to comment on the progressing world. Yes, technology may be a helpful and tremendous element, but remember to spend time out of doors, read a couple of books, or have a conversation with the people you care about. Lasting happiness cannot be found within technology. The percentage of North Americans who say they may be glad to see this has fallen slightly since the early 1970’s, despite the fact that we have got made several technological advancements due to the fact that then. So next time you make a decision to watch TV, or play video games, think to head outdoors and have a conversation in the day we have been blessed with.
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