In the book Fahrenheit 451, author Ray Bradbury describes a futuristic society in which it is normal for an average individual to shun and absolutely loathe books. The main character, Guy Montag, works as a fireman, and his job description consists of burning books instead of preventing fires. Television is a major topic in this book, and for the most part, is portrayed as an extremely obsessive and deleterious item.
Today, in American society however, television is a much more positive thing, and has a lot to contribute to a healthy, connected, and well informed society. In American society, television can save lives instead of destroying them. Tim Leberecht, a well-reputed blogger and columnist, proclaims, “studies indicate enormous potential for TV to serve as a health educator” (Leberecht). Television provides us with information about how to keep better health in an interesting and effective way. By using drama and popular culture references, TV educates us about health concerns and ways to prevent them.
Bradbury obviously does not realize this aspect of television when he states on page 21, “If we had a fourth wall, why it’d be like this room wasn’t ours at all, but all kind of exotic people’s rooms” (Bradbury 21). Montag’s wife, Mildred, tries to convince Guy to get her a fourth TV wall, which would completely enclose her in a fake TV world. In reality, however, people make much more out of TV than in this fake, futuristic society. Television today has transformed into a machine that can make us grasp and learn difficult items with ease. TV can make us smarter (as it) contains multi threaded storylines featuring fifteen or more characters,” states www. designmind. com (Leberecht). These complexities in plot make us think extensively and outside the box, and push our minds to the limits of our computing ability. Unfortunately for the natives of the futuristic society in Fahrenheit 451, television only contains useless information that drives viewers to forget information about their families. “When did we meet? And where? ” Montag asks his wife (Bradbury 42).
TV has driven them to forget about the people that live in their own homes, as it depicted as a very negative concept. In our modern day television, however, we have the ability to understand and comprehend complicated ideas as a family, and serves to unite rather than disperse families through the art of learning. Television breaks down barriers and taps into our better selves. Tim Leberecht pronounces that “After the 1965 Watts Riots, CBS Journalist Joe Saltzman produced Black on Black, a documentary about what it means to be black in Los Angeles” (Leberecht).
Television series, documentaries, and movies help to break down barriers and restrictions between race, gender, color, and creed, and make us knowledgeable about the fact that everyone is created equally in these measures. Without the aid of TV, many important movements around the world would not have taken place. A study conducted by Hollywood, Health & Society, shows that “viewers of the episode (of CBS show Numb3rs on an organ donation storyline) were more likely to become registered organ donors” (Leberecht). Television informs us about ways that we can better ourselves as well as help others.
On page 20 of Fahrenheit 451, Mildred memorizes the simplistic and useless storylines of the television shows she watches (Bradbury 20). On the other hand, in the real world we have many TV programs where we can learn and apply the right things to do in life, instead of committing to memory the ways to respond to a fake TV family and life. Television brings family and friends together in ways that make everyone feel comfortable and entertained. “Televised events like the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the World Cup give us a rare opportunity to share a moment in time with the world,” proclaims Tim Leberecht of www. esignmind. com (Leberecht). With our busy lives, we almost never take out time to spend with our loved ones, and these televised events are when the majority of people meet up and have fun. “Millie? Does the White Clown love you? Does your ‘family’ love you, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie? ” Montag asks Mildred (Bradbury 77). Guy Montag is questioning his wife out of desperation, and is extremely curious to know if she believes that her fake TV family really loves her. From this we can see that he is truly disappointed with life and his wife’s immoral addiction to television.
We must keep in mind that our society today is not as dumbed down and obsessed with fake parlor shows that spread real, tangible people apart as Mildred is. TV today is a source of knowledge and learning, and creates the perfect circumstances and settings for the getting together of the people that really matter the most. One of the most important aspects of television is its ability to strengthen democracy and teach the law. “Seventy-two percent (of the US population) learn about elections and candidates from TV news,” states www. designmind. om (Leberecht). TV brings us information that is essential to maintaining our freedom and our guaranteed rights. It also provides us with news about the world, and of countries that have strayed off the path of democracy and the consequences that they are forced to endure through because of that. “The search is over, Montag is dead; a crime against society has been avenged,” claims the TV news anchor in Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury 149). In reality, Guy is still alive and on the loose, but the news gives out fake information to the population.
The news in Montag’s society is just a source of propaganda, instead of the true, insightful, informative, un-biased news we have broadcasting 24/7 in the modern day United States. Television saves lives, empowers health, makes us smarter, breaks down barriers, makes us better people, brings loved ones together, and strengthens democracy. TV is clearly a force that informs, entertains, and makes us the best that we can possibly be every single day. Works Cited Leberecht, Tim. “10 Reasons Why TV Is Good For You. ” Design Mind. 27 July 2010. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. Print.
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