*In honor of banned books week*
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Source: Personal Copy
"Four-hundred and fifty degrees - the combustion point of paper."
Fahrenheit 451 depicts a frightening world where books have been banned. The very men who sought to extinguish fires are now setting fires. Books are illegal and will be burned upon retrieval. Bradbury portrays a world consumed with television, a world where censorship prevails and original thoughts are confined. Guy Montage is a book-burning fireman, a man whose life changes when he meets a young girl name Clarisse. Guy begins to want to see more than what’s in front of him. While Guy is wrapped up in his confusion and begins to ask questions his fire chief tells him "if you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question or worry him; give him one." Guy begins step out of the box, so many of his people have stopped thinking and asking questions, focusing only on material things. Guy’s wife Mildred is no acceptation to the rule; she will hear nothing of what Guy believes. When Guy begins hiding books in his home, he knows Mildred would report him if given the chance. She has been thoroughly brainwashed into submission. Mildred lives vicariously through television programs, her life is almost meaningless. Government policy believes “The home environment can undo a lot [they] try to do at school. That's why [they’ve] lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now [they’re] almost snatching them from the cradle." People are lacking the quality of information, the leisure to digest and the right to carry out actions based on what they learn.
First, I would like to say that Ray Bradbury’s writing is phenomenal. There are so many amazing quotes that can be taken from this book. While this book has been placed on many banned lists, this is a book that should be read. A powerful read that will surely remain with readers for a long time, a classic book that still resonates today. The reality is much closer to the truth than we would like it to be, many parallel’s can be drawn between our world and this fictional world. We have filled our world with technology, and some would argue that we are more removed from society than ever before. Of course, this would depend on how the technology is being used from person to person. There is no question that not everyone uses technology to be more informed, simply more entertained. Themes that are explored in this book are censorship, individuality, illiteracy and suicide, among many more. Society has no sense of reality. Bradbury will cause you to stop and contemplate. Where are we, and where are we going? If you treasure your books, you will want to read this one. Simply, a must read.