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Analysis of Ray Bradbury's Writing

Uploaded by wildguesswc on Nov 13, 2002

Critics often accuse Ray Bradbury of being against science fiction. They say he “fears and distrusts science” (Knight 4). However, both of these accusations are misinterpretations. Bradbury himself said that he doesn’t “distrust machinery,” he “distrusts people” (Mengeling 85). He is not afraid that machines are going to computerize people out of existence; he is afraid that human beings are going to dehumanize themselves out of existence using machines and technology. This fear can be seen in many of his stories, including Fahrenheit 451, “The Flying Machine,” and “The Murderer”.

The novel Fahrenheit 451 is a good example of a story in which Bradbury emphasizes his fear of technology being misused. Disregarding the main theme, which is censorship, and focusing on the details, one can see what he thinks could happen if technology is allowed to get out of control. He writes about automobiles that go so fast that advertisements must stretch for miles in order for them to be seen by the drivers. He talks about machines that can completely flush one’s body of blood, replacing it with fresh blood, and these machines can be operated by poorly educated people. He also writes of people whose lives consist solely of interactive television, or “parlor family” (Fahrenheit 49).

All of these things reflect his fear of being dehumanized out of existence because, in the story, the general public is programmed by technology to act the way they do. The main character’s wife, Mildred, is Bradbury’s example of the product of this advanced technology: she is more like a robot than a person. Her life consists of “interacting” with characters on the television, whom she calls her family. When she is watching television, it seems as though she feels that the television is more real than her actual life. Bradbury’s prediction of what television could do to people is relatively correct in the present day. Recently, people have gotten more and more involved in television, especially reality television shows, such as Survivor, that it seems as if it is the only life they have.

The short story “The Flying Machine” is another good example of a story in which Bradbury expresses his opinion that technology can be dangerous in the wrong hands and that it must be monitored so that it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. The story takes place in China in 400 AD. The Emperor of China catches a man flying...

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Uploaded by:   wildguesswc

Date:   11/13/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,179 words)

Views:   2577

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