Television and manipulation


The TV as a friend and family

Television and its potential use for manipulation are important aspects of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451. Both the dissident Faber and Granger own only small, traditional televisions, whose programs they watch critically in moderation.

For Mildred Montag, on the other hand, as for the average citizen, television takes the most important place in life. Mildred, the wife of the main character Guy Montag, represents the average citizen of the supposedly utopian society in Fahrenheit 451.

She spends most of her time in the "parlor" (Part 1, 25%), a room in which three walls already consist of TV screens. However, Mildred would like the fourth wall to be converted into a TV screen as soon as possible (Part 1, 29%).

Mildred finds herself in the midst of television broadcasting, surrounded by moving images. She can take on a small role herself in interactive broadcasts (Part 1, 27%). Through what appears to be a personal television host, Mildred is made to feel that the people on TV care about her: "The converter attachment (...) automatically supplied her name whenever the announcer addressed his anonymous audience (...). He was a friend, no doubt of it, a good friend." (Part 1, 92%).

Mildred builds an emotional bond with her television program. She even refers to the people on TV as her family (Part 1, 69%). She also does not want children. With her husband, she maintains only a careless, loveless relationship. Guy and Mildred also sleep in separate beds, which are once again separated by a glass wall (Part 1, 67%). Guy is haunted by the feeling...

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