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Practice Good Theory Blog

Reblogged:451

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At one level, 451 is about oppressive government keeping books away from people, but the message is deeper than that. Peel back a layer and we find that it is not just about books and not just about government.

Bradbury tells us that textured, varied, un-sanitized, life is the good life. The life of purely passive leisure -- the do-nothing life depicted in Mildred watching TV all day -- is bad (she almost kills herself with sleeping pills, and it doesn't really seem to bother her; after all, what is there to live for?). Bradbury fears we are losing touch with reality -- with doing things with our hands, with contact with the earth -- as all our comforts alienate us from nature.

In 451, we see TV as a passive medium. Bradbury also criticizes it for being a broadcast medium, though we also see a degree of 'fake" individualization like the device that fills in the viewer's name at certain points. How does it compare to Facebook?

Bradbury has the style of a poet. It makes for a brief book.
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