H English 10, 2nd period Red
7 September 2012
Loss of Humanity
What separates humans from other species? Humanity has many traits that define who we are. We have families and love them, we value education as a necessity for everyone, and we care about the safety of others. For example, we have laws that regulate the speed at which we drive to increase safety on the road. This is an example of our care for others. If we lost these values our society would lose what makes us human. Fahrenheit 451 is a prime example of what would happen if we lost these basic human qualities. In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury portrays what would happen if society lost its family values, education, and care for others.
To begin, Family is considered as people who care deeply for each other and would always be there for them. However, family values are completely neglected. Mrs. Bowles has two kids but instead of caring for them she just puts them “’in school nine days out of ten,” (96) then, when home, sends them “into the ‘parlor’,” (96) and turns on the television. Mrs. Bowles mentions that she only had the kids to reproduce and allow the human race to go on. On the contrary, we perceive having children as wanting to have a loving family. Their society has lost its human values so that parents don’t even love their children. Bradbury also reveals this loss of humanity through the relationship between Mildred and Montag. Mildred is always distracted by her ‘parlor’ and earphones that are radios. Montag realizes this and how he doesn’t “know her at all” (39). Mildred only cares about her parlor family and would rather attend to that rather than interact with her husband. They don’t even remember how they met! The lack of humanity removes all basic family values.
Education is something that is designed to give everyone an opportunity in today’s world. In Montag’s society education is just an illusion of learning. Clarisse explains to Montag how teachers just “run the answers at you” (27) rather than the kids asking questions. This form of education doesn’t actually help the kids. A real education is one where the students interact with others and ask questions. Having a bad educational system equates to creating people that are less intellectual and unable to think for themselves. When the children get out of school they just get a job “pressing buttons, pulling switches, [and] fitting nuts and bolts” (53). Without a proper education, people have no personality and life is dedicated to distracting yourself in any way possible. This loss of humanity in their society leads to an inadequate educational system that ruins the way people think.
The last thing that the loss of humanity destroys is their care