Fire & Lions + Death, oh my!
Connection piece between Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and The Veldt, Anthony Weir's Daily Suicide, and the Pennsylvania School Stabbing.
Kendall Jordan & Isabella Yeffeth
Illustration by Ann Macarayan
The page shows the thematic connections between Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and The Veldt, Anthony Weir's Daily Suicide, and the stabbing that occurred at Franklin Regional Senior High School, Pennsylvania.
In Ray Bradbury's The Veldt, a futuristic family is thrown into turmoil when the connection between parents and children is severed. When the adults threaten to take away all technology in the house, the children resort to violence against them to protect their nursery. Similarly, Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 gives several examples of the youth's turn to crime and violence as a result of the world they are living in. Below is a link to The Veldt:
Daily Suicide by Anthony Weir. The corruption and darkness that has slowly entered our lives is killing us emotionally without our knowledge. Just as in The Veldt, in this poem the people are ignorant to the emotional death that is affecting them until it is too late. The ties that should have existed between the parents and their children was severed early on, and it wasn't until later that the parents realized the effects of this loss, which lead to their deaths.
In this article, 16-year-old Alex Hribal stabs 20 of his classmates and one security guard before being subdued. He was fully aware of his actions at the time, and showed absolutely no remorse, even after being caught. He even states he "had more people to kill," and therefore had no reservations about attacking again. He spoke as though it was his duty to do so, but it is apparent from the note found in his locker that he stabbed these people because he wanted to, and on some levels even enjoyed it. This thematic idea of teenagers becoming unattached to their peers or other loved ones, and even turning to violence, shows up in both Fahrenheit 451 and The Veldt. Though it is stated in The Veldt that the children plotted to kill their parents to protect what they loved, Hribal plotted the death of his classmates for the sake of his own amusement. However, the idea that people will turn to violence as the first solution to any sort of problem is shared in The Veldt and this real life occurrence.
Bringing it all together
In Fahrenheit 451, The Veldt, Daily Suicide, and the Pennsylvania School Stabbing, there is a common warning for the readers. Ray Bradbury, with both his stories, touches on people (particularly young people) turning to violence to solve their incurable boredom. Such a thing is put in real life, and described in the article over the Pennsylvania School Stabbing. In this article, it describes someone that is almost hauntingly similar to the people in Clarisse's school, "either shouting... or beating up one another"(27). It's clearly evident that the boy did what he did with the intention to take the lives of his fellow students for his own amusement, exactly as Montag recalls about the children in Fahrenheit 451, when he says "they would have killed me... for no reason at all in the world they would have killed me"(122). These horribly similar connections from the future, through the eyes of the past, to the present give us a warning of the effects of a culture without passion. These colorless people are best described in Anthony Weir's poem, Daily Suicide, where he metaphorically compares being physically dead to the passionless life that the people in Bradbury's universes live, a universe that Weir fears is already upon us.