Insider in Fahrenheit 451 and Extra, a Thousand Years of Good Prayers Essay

Page 1 of 6 The meaning of ‘outsider’ is the person in part of the society. They obey and converge in the social value which set up by the government. In both Fahrenheit 451 and A thousand years of good prayers, we see that there is several of characters absorb the knowledge and social value. These characters are under controlled and they find it is a right way in obeying the structure of the society. ‘Outsider’ in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury represents to the main character Montag and other characters such as Clarisse, Faber, the woman burnt and Captain Beatty. They are healthy on themselves.

But there is something goes on a wrong way in the society. Besides, the ‘outsiders’ in the story Extra from the book A thousand years of good prayers by Yu Yun Li are the main characters Granny Lin and Kang. In this story, Old Tang has no idea what he is rolling in the society as he has got the Alzheimer disease, which makes him living with unconsciousness. In this story, three of them are all extra that no more space for them in the society. This essay will tell how the control of government influence society value, what is the society value being abandoned and the individual society value from both novels.

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In the book Fahrenheit 451, the life of the insider Mildred, is surrounded with technology and restricted by government. She watches the wall-TV every time and soon becomes anti-social. Her routine is full filled with watching wall-TV. She somehow demands to buy the forth wall to entertain her more. Government is trying to control their acknowledgement through the technology, the wall-television. You become any shape that they wish you to (p. 92). Bradbury use metaphor to explain that the government controls their mind and built their personality through the wall-TV.

Page 2 of 6 However, the outsider Montag, who has started to think, is not satisfied with this kind of activity that can’t make him gain any knowledge from it. He walked over, reading the last page with nodding his head, folded the script and handed it back to her (p. 28). He was dissatisfied with his own shape that being built by the wall-TV. He knows that technology is ruining everyone life as anti-social makes everyone stays inside their own house and has no interaction with others. The wall-TV has substituted for reality connections.

In this case, government is controlling individual in society by technology. Similarly, the characters rolling insider in the story Extra such as Auntie Wang and the sons of Old Tang are all getting in the society value that set up by government, too. Government is founding a society in this story: everyone treats money as the most important thing in their life. For Auntie Wang, her purpose in encouraging Granny Lin to marry to Old Tang may tend to make profit from this matchmaking. Her purpose may be trying to find a best solution to solve the financial problem that Granny Lin faces.

But what she does may helping herself and other else (Granny Lin) to face the reality that money is the most important thing in society. When your husband died, at least you can inherit some of the cash (p. 4). The social value founds by government implies everyone starts to treat money as an essential to live in society. For the outsider Granny Lin, she changes to accept the ‘offer’ to marry with Old Tang. She knows she has to change or else it will become a hard task for her to continue living in the society without money, which is because of losing a job.

Both books are conveying the social value which controlled by the government. The contrasts are Montag is starting to disagree with the Page 3 of 6 society controlled by government while Granny Lin is changing to accept this society. Which means Granny Lin is being controlled by the idea that government founds. The social value being abandoned exists in both books. Montag is the one being abandoned in the middle part of Fahrenheit 451. Mildred is one of the people to ring up the fire alarm. Captain Beatty as well as the other of Montag’s colleague are going to burn his house.

These scenes point out Montag is abandoned by everyone he trusted most before. Everyone (neighbourhood) is looking for the ‘show’ of burning the house. House-door opened all down the street and lights flicked to wait for watching the carnival to set up (p. 121). Irony of the carnival tells that everyone possesses a mind that being the spectator to look forward how Montag’s house is going to be burnt down. No one willing to help him as they don’t want to be burnt. In a contrast, Montag has a happy ending for himself at the end of the story. He finally found a group of people stood at the same line with him.

He is still the one abandoned by the society. But he is not abandoned by the group of people. The society showed that you would be abandoned if you were the one who disobey the idea of the society. For Granny Lin, it is obvious that she is an abandon since the title of the story has pointed her characteristic in the story, an extra. She is being abandoned at the beginning, the middle part and the end of the story. All of the turning points in the story bring her to ‘being abandoned’ again. She has no capable in the society. She lost her job at the beginning of the story.

After she has married to Old Tang, his dead makes her being abandoned by ‘hers family’, the sons of Old Tang. In addition, she can’t catch up with the life after she has dismissed from the school. She wonders since when she is not longer being one of them (p. 22). Page 4 of 6 Although they are someone stop and enquiry, but the following sentence told that there has no compassion to an extra in the society. ‘Few people respond … moves on’ (p. 22). With no compassion, people in society abandon other who has no capable to live rather than give them compassion.

The ideal of the society in this story is: you can alive if you have the strength (capable) and you will become an extra (abandon) if you have no capable. By being abandoned by everyone and everything, Granny Lin is the truly abandon compare with Montag. Individual social value in Fahrenheit 451 tells that Montag, Clarisse, Faber and the woman burnt want to read book. They want to learn knowledge from the book so that they can think and find deeper self. What you need was not a book, it was some of the things were in the books (p. 90).

They disagree to the society to use firemen to burnt book instead of put off fire from burning. For Montag, he starts to change to think. Perhaps he learns from Clarisse that he can’t find deeper self from burning the books. ‘It was a pleasure to burn’ (p. 11). This irony writing method addresses that Montag realizes burning books can’t make him happy at all. Between, there is a value of reading implied by the woman burnt. It shows that there has no more reason to stay alive if she had no book to read as she could not find her deeper self.

Thus, the ideal of dissent to the society by outsider is the prohibition on getting knowledge from book. On the contrary, individual social value doesn’t exist for Granny Lin. Granny Lin is totally judged by the society. She is too tiny to possess a position in the society (of course she is an outsider). She is just as tiny as sand that what she does have no effect to the society. Although the value for individual means nothing to society, the value of society means Page 5 of 6 something to individual. In general, the structure of government influences citizens.

Every citizen will follow to the structure that the government set up. In a capitalism economic system which set up by the government and everyone will follow to the structure, everyone is so reality that ‘self is important than other’. The evidence is shown at the second paragraph in this essay. So, the literary devise being used in the story Extra, paradox, is implying that the society has been set up without compassion to other, which is because of the capitalism economic system. To sum up, the idea of social values by both outsiders and insiders as compared about have conveyed the ideal of society and dissent.

The ideals of society and dissent in both books are different in this essay. Controlled from the government makes Granny Lin have to change but makes Montag resists. Living in the society with abandon by others, Montag finds other with him at a same front to fight for the knowledge from book. In contrast, Granny Lin is abandoned by the society in the story. Individual social value for Montag makes an irony in the story that he changes from burning book to reading book, whereas individual social value for Granny Lin means nothing to the society.

The important idea of the society is the structure of the government. In the book Fahrenheit 451, controlled Montag not to read makes him changes from obedience to disagree. And, in the story Extra, the structure set up by the government implies society become no compassion therefore Granny Lin changes to converge to the society. Yet, she fails, she is abandoned by society. Page 6 of 6 Bibliography Bradbury, R. 2004. Fahrenheit 451. London: Voyagers. Li, Y. 2006. A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. London: Harper Perennial.


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