Burn that problem, be happy!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An essay about Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 - the metaphors and relations to our world and society

Submitted: September 20, 2011

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Submitted: September 20, 2011



Burn that problem, be happy!

(What meaning and impact do you think that these two novels should have for present day readers?)

I am not really sure what impact these books should have on people because what they say is true. But the smaller number of people actually feel the impact, the greater it will be. Both novels describe a society where people are forbidden to do certain things (read, think, …), but encouraged to do some other (recreational sex, hallucinogens, watch predetermined tv shows, …).

Although Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 are both future themed in my opinion they aren’t predictions of the future but rather reflections of the present. One common question about sci-fi books is ‘did the writer predict the future correctly?’. I personally dislike this question. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. Because he wasn’t trying to predict the future, he was making it up. Huxley & Bradbury constructed a giant metaphor. Their novels leave an impression that something is wrong with the future while they’re actually showing us that the present is the one which is messed up and what is “going to happen” unless we do something about it right now. That’s why the books are so good; they impose themselves on us and give us action at the same time. Ray Bradbury mentions[1] that nowadays novels are being translated and shortened to simpler, newer languages by changing the style and words – a lot of epithets are thrown out and novels are being destroyed in a sense. He writes about this in a very special way (similar to Huxley’s) that just got the book stuck in my hands till the end. Brave New World was really an epic adventure filled with action and thoughts, some may say that the book is confusing at certain points and I agree. BNW is not for everyone and you have to be of certain age to understand it though that doesn’t mean you will. I like how it presents this futuristic society that controls all the people and what they are doing. But the people are also constructed to be intellectually on the level of what they are supposed to do (Alpha, Beta, G, D & E). Can you imagine a world where people are born in tubes with their life already predefined; what they’ll do, how intelligent they will be, where they will live, what they will and won’t know, … It’s truly amazing- and also happening right now (not in the same way but brainwashing, yes). One example is TV. Last year I drank coke every day in school so I decided to take it down a bit and didn’t have coke the whole summer. When I stopped pausing and bought a 1l coke I assumed it would taste better than ever, but it didn’t. Why? Because it wasn’t anything special. I admire the coke ads, especially the 3D one[2] because it’s very creative, the song[3] is catchy and everyone is drinking coke. I was controlled to drink it just by watching ads. Guess what? I don’t even watch TV. The only ads I’ve been seeing are the ones on trucks, in bars and on the Internet. But did you know that an average 66 y.o. person who watches TV has seen more than 2 million ads in his life?[4] Talk about brainwashing! An example of brainwashing and addiction is the Parlor tv. In Fahrenheit Mildred is addicted to the Parlor which is an interactive TV. The government has influenced Mildred’s mind so much that she runs away from Montag after he told her about the books (later on she even calls the Firemen in on him).

The ending of both novels pleasantly surprised me. I especially like how people are books with intentions to make more people-books and a better world, when the time comes. After reading Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World I know, for sure, that I’ve become a book myself.

word count: 641


Essay written after reading and with reference of:

Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451, New York, Del Ray, 1991


Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World, Harlow, Longman Group, 1997

[1] Coda, pg. 163 – Bradbury talks about books being shortened and stripped away from their beauty.

[2] Coca-Cola ad, first seen 1.2.2007, by The Coca-Cola Company


[3] Coca-Cola song, date of release unknown, The Coca-Cola Company


[4] Statistics, publish date unknown, California State University Nortridge - prof. Norman Herr



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