Fahrenheit 451 & Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
We are presented with two scenarios of the future in Ray BradburyÆs Fahrenheit 451 and Philip K. DickÆs Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? In BradburyÆs futuristic American city, meaningless lives are led watching non-stop TV, listening to loud music, and driving fast cars. Books are banned and purposefully burned to help undermined differences in intelligence between members of society. In DickÆs futuristic world, robotic androids have become companions for humans and any emotion or feeling that is unpleasant is revolved by dialing a number. While the protagonists of each novel will come to a greater meaning of self and humanity in light of their respective futuristic societies, the vision of the future offered by Dick is darker than that of BradburyÆs.
The futuristic world created by Bradbury is one in which individuals are preoccupied by television, music, and fast cars. Happiness is held out as the highest goal for members of the community. However, free speech if curtailed, thoughts and ideas are considered bad, and only superficial or trivial exchanges between individuals are considered good. Firemen in this community do not put out fires, they start them. This is especially true with books. By burning all the books, it is thought that people will become more equal with respect to information and intelligence, though it requires a dumbing down of intelligent members of the community. Scholars are outcasts and rebels in this society, a group who must keep the contents of books in their minds in case they are called in future to restore the ideas in them to society. However, the rebels are a small minority of the overall population, ôSo few want to be rebels anymore. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easilyö (Bradbury, p. 87).
Guy Montag is a fireman who enjoys burning books. However, his wifeÆs focus on television and his