Ray Bradbury is one of the great American storytellers of the 20th and early 21st century. I’m currently making my way through his “Zen in the art of writing,” and let me tell you…it does not disappoint.
This post is about Fahrenheit 451, a book that Ray Bradbury wrote with a certain message in mind; a book whose theme transcended Bradbury’s idea that television destroys interest in reading literature. Instead, it has become a quintessential dystopian tale about the dangers of censorship.
Why? Because in Fanhrenheit 451, firemen burn books. That’s right; gone are the good old days when firemen would extinguish fires. Now, their purview is somewhat different; burning books, since those contain dangerous ideas, ideas which one minority or another found offensive; which, it was decided, needed to be purged since they were too dangerous, too prone to cause in-fighting and whatever else nasty business you could imagine.
Gigantic TV sets that cover the walls, and ear shells, which blast entertainment into people’s heads are all that entertains people. They’re never off, not for a moment. Does that sound eerily familiar, perhaps?
One of the best things about books is that you can shut them when you need to think.
Well said, that. Fahrenheit 451 is filled with memorable quotes and haunting descriptions. Written in 1953, it never the less remains deeply relevant to this day.
It’s a short novel, some 200 pages–less, perhaps. Bradbury’s prose is beautiful, poignant and memorable. No surprise, if you’re at all familiar with the author you’re dealing with.
It’s well-worth your time. Go get it! Now!
It’s been on my list for quite a while. Perhaps it’s time to open it.
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