Thursday, May 7, 2015

51:120 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman in a futuristic dystopian where firemen burn books and anything else that is deemed as "controversial".  Controversial meaning, in this case, anything that causes original thoughts and detracts from the pursuit of happiness in its most base form.  He is already growing discontent with his work and then going home to his wife, Mildred, who spends her entire time immersed in her television "family" to the point where he has already started to take home books from the homes where he is supposed to burn them but then his neighbor, Clarisse, starts talking to him in the evenings as he returns home from work about the past where books and speech and thoughts were more open and her dreams of seeing that return in the future.  Now his eyes are opened wider and he is truly seeing his life for what it is and can no longer return to what he was.  However, this leads to actions that put almost the whole of society against him and he must find those outcasts who will welcome him before the world comes tumbling down.

I can't remember if I read this back in high school or if I've just heard so much of it that I thought I'd read it before but I definitely hadn't read the essays and such that were in the back of this edition which were really interesting.  Obviously, there has been a lot of dystopian reading here for DS2's high school because that is what he likes to read so I'm trying to find classics in that style for him for free reading projects and this definitely fits the bill.  I can see how it was relevant back when it was written but seeing where our current society is going, I think it is unfortunately even more relevant especially when we hear modern musicians whom many youth look up talking with pride of how they have never read a book.  Seriously?!  These kinds of things scare the crap out of me and even more so looking at the banned book list (I swear, that should be my new reading list) and seeing some of the horrible objections to those books based on the fact that they are too "real" in their portrayal of the violence of the past.  After reading the essays at the back, I did not know that his inspiration for this was Darkness at Noon (everyone I've ever talked to has mentioned it's similarity to 1984) so I've grabbed that book to see what it's like.  I can only hope that my love of reading is inspiring my children (seems to be) and I will keep doing everything I can to spread that love far and wide.

Page Count: 249p/12,064p ytd/226,998p lifetime

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