In the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the relationships and attitudes shared between the characters is far from what you would find in society in the real world, yet shows some disturbing similarities. Bradbury made sociological predictions in 1953; he predicted that the world would become a shallow and superficial place. In his world, everything meaningful has almost ceased to exist. There are no books, no deep conversations, and nobody seems to care. People have come to rely on technology and nonsensical information to live their lives.
In the book the concepts of marriage and love have changed. ?He clarified it. ?The first time we ever met, where was it and when?? ? ?I don?t know? It doesn?t matter.?? In this quote, Montag wants to know how they met, but Mildred claims it doesn?t matter. It doesn?t matter to her how they got together in the first place. Throughout the story line, it shows that Montag and Mildred, the two people who are supposed to be closest, only know as much about each other as their friends do. In this predicted future, marriage has become like two mutual acquaintances that share the same house. They do not share the same bed nor do they have many common interests. The most they interact is when they watch the parlor walls. They are only together because they are, there is no real reason, and they do not love each other. Bradbury?s message is that while they may be married, they do not have an actual marriage where one person loves the other.
In Bradbury?s future world, friendships and conversations have become superficial and meaningless. One girl, named Clarisse talked to Montag about what she realized. ?They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anybody else.? What we would consider polite small talk in the real world has taken over the fictional world in the book. They talk about meaningless things, have meaningless friends, and still see nothing wrong with that. They purposefully made it that way too, if you don?t talk about anything, then nobody can disagree with what you say and everybody gets along. The problem? Someone always disagrees with something. The solution? They talk about nothing of importance, hence people only talking about cars, clothes, etc. But is it possible to have friends who know nothing about you and talk about nothing? Or vice versa? In Bradbury?s book he shows how people surround themselves in strangers they call friends, bonding over parlor walls.
Bradbury also made a prediction about family. For example, when Montag is sick, he wants Mildred to turn the parlor walls off, but Mildred won?t. ??Will you turn the parlor off?? he asked. ?That?s my family.? She answered.? This quote shows Mildred cares more about the parlor walls than her sick husband. The fact that Mildred considers the parlor walls her ?family? over those she is related to and knows, shows a startling similarity to the real world where families bond over the TV and would rather watch the TV than do anything else with their family. In Bradbury?s world, people would rather choose a fictional, technological family then their own flesh and blood.
When Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451, he showed us a society where marriage, friends and family are all perceived differently than in the real world. He shows a world where marriage is superficial, friendship is shallow, and family is fictional. He used exaggerations to show what he believed might happen if people are not mindful of relations.