Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, both share a dystopian element of ignorance is bliss. In The Allegory of the Cave, they discuss the prisoners and how they only see and believe the shadows they see. But Plato states “How could they see anything if they were never allowed to move their heads?”. The prisoners were only allowed to believe what they see, but what they were seeing wasn’t the truth. The shadows were a distortion of the truth. The actual truth were what the people were holding in their hands but the shadows make the objects look different so the prisoners are always seeing what isn’t true. In Fahrenheit, the people were seeing distortions of the truth too. They were told that books were bad, they made you question the ‘truth’ and that scared everyone. They believe this to the point of now, that’s what they thought was right. Even Montag’s wife believes “Books aren’t people. You read and I look around, but there isn’t anybody!... Now... my ‘family’ is people. They tell me things; I laugh, they laugh! And the colors!”(69). Mildred is so convinced that books are bad and they’re nonsense. Montage tried to escape the cave and show Mildred the world by reading to her, but she refused to believe. Mildred is distracted by what her truth is, her family in the screens, the tv shows and the TVs that cover the walls. They talk to her, making her think that this is what is real, but she will never know unless she reads. You can tell how Beatty is so much more educated because he has read. He knows the truth behind the books and how they don’t just say nonsense. If you compare Beatty to Mildred you can tell how undereducated she is. She is so distracted by the lights and the shows that she cant understand the books even if she wanted to. All in all, these quotes prove the dystopian element of ignorance is bliss, but as we all know, ignorance isn’t always bliss.
The article “The number of kids reading for fun keeps declining” and the story “Fahrenheit 451” both analyze the dystopian element that information and independent thought are restricted and what happens to individuals when they do not read. In “Fahrenheit 451” books are outlawed and technology is worshipped. Mildred is always in the parlor with “the family” or has her “seashells in her ear”. All of the technology has caused Mildred to develop a self image problem. Bradbury expresses the importance of books. Books allow people to have independent thought and teaches people important events in history. In 451 people are “empty” and “don’t talk about anything”. Bradbury wants the readers to know how how important books are and allows people to have conversations. In “the number of teens reading for fun keeps declining” shows how teenagers are not reading as much and some of that is due to technology. Teens today “hardly read for pleasure” and the decline is “mostly explained by technological advances”. The article shows that teens are mostly brainwashed by technology in the same way as Mildred. As a society, if people continue to use technology instead of reading, the world could turn into something similar to 451. People have to understand the importance of books.