Violence in Society
Theme Connection Assignment, by Brittany Newton and Elizabeth Hubbard
At a high school in Pennsylvania, Alex Hribal decided that he "[couldn't] wait to see the priceless and helpless looks on the faces of the students of one of the 'best schools' realize their previous lives [were] going to be taken by the only one among them that [wasn't] a plebeian," so he brought multiple knives to school and stabbed 20 students. Fortunately, none of the students died from Alex's stabings, but many had to go through surgery. This event provides a strong example of how the younger generations have begun to increase in the number of people using violence to solve their problems. "The Veldt" also describes a situation where a child has gone against his/her parents' wishes with violence in order to gain what the feel they deserve. This could be seen as keeping a beloved nursery or showing others that they can be easily defeated. According to the article, his parents and classmates were not able to see the progression of Alex's aggression. In the song above a boy finds himself in the same situation as Alex because they both want to get revenge on the people that thought they were of better status.
Over the years society has become more and more violent due to technology and other factors. In "The Veldt" the children lock their parents into a room to be eaten alive by lions because of their addiction to their nursery, which is a room with walls that show your thoughts. The song tells of a story about a boy that is tired of his dad treating him poorly, steals his father's gun, and repeatedly thinks about all the people he is going to kill. The school stabbing also resulted in an individual contemplating over all the people he was willing to kill in the amount of time he had. All of these stories connect back to the idea in Fahrenheit 451 that violence has increased throughout the years. Montag goes through a life changing experience each time he has a conversation with Clarisse. For example, Clarisse tells Montag,"'I'm afraid of children my own age. They kill each other. Did it always use to be this way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone'"(27). Clarisse is able to understand that her society is beginning to become corrupt because of the growth of violence in the younger generations. Also, we are able to see this theme when the firemen allow a woman to burn to death with her books. The firemen reason that it is fine to let her die because "these fanatics always try suicide; the pattern's familiar"(36). Fahrenheit 451 points out that the lack of human interaction has led to the decrease in empathy for others, which is a major factor in the increase in violence in the communities.