For more than half a century science fiction writers have thrilled and challenged readers with visions of the future and future worlds. These authors offered an insight into what they expected man, society, and life to be like at some future time.
One such author, Ray Bradbury, utilized this concept in his work, Fahrenheit 451, a futuristic look at a man and his role in society. Bradbury utilizes the luxuries of life in America today, in addition to various occupations and technological advances; to show what life could be like if the future takes a drastic turn for the worse. He turns man's best friend, the dog, against man, changes the role of public servants and changes the value of a person.
Looking Backward belongs to the centuries-old tradition of utopian fiction, fiction that attempts to portray a perfect human society. The plot is simple and minimal, merely a vehicle for Edward Bellamy's ideas for social reform. Bellamy knew that his nineteenth-century audience was extremely hostile to the idea of an economy based on public capital, a premier tenet of socialism, a reviled political movement in the nineteenth century. Therefore, Bellamy had a difficult task in persuading his readers to consider his proposal for an id
Because no one knew of his chamber, Julian was assumed dead. The government controls the means of production and divides the national product equally between all citizens. Julian was engaged to Edith Bartlett, a beautiful, graceful Boston aristocrat. Julian West, the narrator of Looking Backward, was born into an aristocratic family in the late nineteenth century. Compared to a feudal, agricultural society, an industrial economy based on private capital was a far more efficient means to produce and accumulate wealth. They planned to marry when the construction of their new home was completed, but the frequent strikes by the building trades had delayed their marriage for over a year. The night before Pillsbury left Boston for a new job in New Orleans, Julian enlisted his help one last time. It allowed the production of cheap, mass-produced goods, so it raised the standard of living. When Julian wakes from this nightmare to discover that his trip to the twentieth century was not just a dream, he is greatly relieved. In his ideal society, the separation between the genders remains intact, and marriage remains an important institution. He also enlisted the aid of Doctor Pillsbury, a skilled mesmerist, who never failed to leave Julian in a deep sleep. These men found themselves through their own discoveries, much as Bradbury and Bellamy hope others will do. Meanwhile, Julian learns that Doctor Leete's daughter, Edith, is the great-granddaughter of Edith Bartlett. The government remains a respected, powerful means to maintain social order. In Looking Backward, Julian has a terrible nightmare, in which he dreams that his transportation to the twentieth century was nothing but a dream.