Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
I absolutely loved reading this book from start to finish. It is really a beautifully written book with a beautiful message.
Imagine a world where books are banned. And if you are found with books in your possession, firemen come and burn your house down.
The book revolves around a fireman, Guy Montag, who grows a conscience. He meets a strange young girl, Clarisse McClennan, who asks him if he is really happy and he realises he is not. He decides to do something about it, but ends up losing everything he had.
Ray Bradbury’s book is similar to Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World. It touches on Huxley’s theory that there is no Big Brother. People allow and love their oppression, a world where people are controlled with trivial entertainment. Everything is superficial. Nothing has meaning.
To quote Neil Postman again with Amusing ourselves to death what we love will ruin us. which is exactly what happens to Montag’s wife. She lives in a world where she is never alone. She listens to her “family” talking through their walls, she never sleeps. But it takes a toll on her. She cannot keep it up and she tries to end her life on more than one occasion.
There is so much truth in this book:
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”
“I don’t talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things.”
“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.”
First published: 1953
Rating: 5/5 stars and hearts