Futuristic Technology, helpful or hopeless?

Bradbury author of novel Fahrenheit 451 presents his readers with various examples of futuristic technologies such as the “seashell radios”. These “thimble” devices help isolate people from the world around them much like the use of headphones in more modern times. These “radios” serve to create a world in which communicating with others is near impossible leading to a more depressed society.

Accordingly, in this book the seashell radios are primarily used by the protagonists’ wife Mildred. She is described as women who is “detached” and “mindless” when it comes to strengthen her relationship with her husband Montag, or anyone for that matter. She roams the house all day “blasting noise from her ears” and even when she sleeps, she sleeps with them “nestled in her ears.” It seems as if these thimble radios have become a physical part of her, outlining a society completely dependent and brainwashed by technology. The lesson of importance being the necessity to create an environment in which technology is seen as a part of our lives opposed to the entirety of it.

Mildred throughout the novel is also seen as over dosing on medication, which is later revealed to be for combating her depression. Why would Bradbury deliberately make a character who is attached to technology a victim of depression? Even though this contrast may seem severe, the likely hood of becoming depressed due to an increased usage of technologies is actually very high. The problem does not stem from technologies such as the seashell radios directly, however from the amount of influences we let them have on our lives. In Mildred’s case the influence was severe making it hard for her to sleep without having the “seashells plugged on.” This dependency left her in a dire state with no time to not communicate with her husband leaving her with feelings of isolation.

So as you can see it is of great importance to restrict the amount of influence technology has over our lives. It is impossible as Bradbury depicted to completely eradicate technology as it is the innovation of the future however it can be monitored. Hopefully if people can manage to do this they can prevent feelings of isolation and illnesses such as depression, then n maybe technology can be less detrimental to ones well being. Of course all we can do is hope.


Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine Books, 1953. Print.



One thought on “Futuristic Technology, helpful or hopeless?

  1. Heleena, I would never have drawn the connection between isolation caused by excess use of technology and depression. But your blog makes it very clear. Too much disconnection between a person and reality because of overuse of technology can in fact cause isolation and mental illness such as depression. This helps us to understand the characters and why so many of them attempt suicide and self destruction. I loved this post! You made me think deeper into the characters of the story. Laura

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