The teenagers in the novel are taught not to think about or interact with the things around them. They do not have any social interactions and are held in a school for long periods of time without seeing their families. The teenagers’ parents do not love them or care about them. Guys neighbor declares, “You heave them into the ‘parlor’ and turn the switch. It’s like washing clothes: stuff laundry in and slam the lid” (Bradbury 93). The teenagers do not have proper parental figures to point them in the right direction.
These new generations become aggressive and violent. They do whatever they please, including murder and robbery. They are never taught to feel compassion for others. Claries is a young woman who Guy meets and becomes intrigued with because of the way she carries herself. She does not act like the other kids her age and she has no desire to act like them either. Clavicle’s uncle taught her how she needs to act. He also taught her how the world used to be. She is the only teenager that carries the thoughts of an elder person that knows the truth about history.
She states, “an hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or minting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you, being, being, being, and us sitting there for four or more hours of film teacher. That’s not social to me at all. ” (27). She explains to the reader what a normal life is like for teenagers her age. Claries gives the reader a picture of what this society does to the adolescents.
They put them aside, always keeping them busy until they are old enough to live the way the government wants them to live. The government is very weary of how the generations are being brought up. Beauty, Guys captain, says, ‘You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That’s why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle” (57). The society eradicates all chances of teenagers knowing the truth about the past.
The firemen in this novel burn books to get rid of the lingering past. This society thinks books are unimportant and do not want them in their world. They destroy all signs of books, no matter the cost, and they are completely okay with it. Beauty conveys the message all firemen live by, “we must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. ” Even as big strong male figures, firemen are scared of what books hold.
Beauty reads Guy a paper that states the origin of the Firemen, “established, 1790, to burn English- influenced books in the colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin. ” (32). The reader knows this to be false and therefore can see how the truth is bent and owe knowledge is being lost throughout time. Firemen are just aids in this long pursuit of what this society thinks is perfection. The people in this society choose the rules. Their societal views began with the people and gradually made their way to the government.
The people began not reading books and not having a thirst for knowledge. “Its not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were it books The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through radios and televisions, but are not. ” This shows that the people of this society are lazy and do not wish to learn. They SE technology solely as a way of entertainment and not for education. These citizens have a multitude of ways with which they could bring America to its former glory, but they choose not to.
They choose to ignore their imperfections and continue with their ways because they see themselves as perfect. Fahrenheit 451 is a warning of a foreshadowing future. It takes the reader to a place where knowledge is overrated and overlooked. No one in this society cares about the future. They turn a blind eye to the real problems and continue their lives as if everything is okay. The knowledge people once had is lowly becoming a rarity and a crime. Society and government has made this world and the knowledge is lost when the people no longer care to remember it.