Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Since I'm bored, I've decided to go into book reviewing. (Well, I also want more followers...) I'll state off right away that these are only my opinions and I am by no means an author or expert... I'll just give you my thoughts.

Here's one of my favorite books, Fahrenheit 451. Yes, I know it's a heavy book, but it's also very powerful. I've stated a couple of times that it's my favorite book, and to my surprise many adults have said that they haven't read it. They really should--this is an amazing book not only for its plot but also for its writing.

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do...
Taken off the back of my edition, since they summarize it better than I can.

In a futuristic world, books are banned, period. (Gasp!) Everyone's reasons are different: they contradict each other too much, lead others to do bad things... whatever. But the real reason, as you might have guessed, is knowledge. In this world, people don't think for themselves--they have the media for that. The media feeds them junk and turns their brains to mush. Everyone is more engrossed in soap operas and stories than they are in their own lives.

I love the underlying theme of this book, just as other bibliophiles might: books, and knowledge, are valuable. They let others think for themselves. They keep us questioning. They keep us active. Books are valuable. Knowledge is valuable. And most of all--and I know some of you might protest--is the media. Honestly? I don't watch the media or listen to the radio that much. Reason? They are opinions. I'm not trying to say that the world is better off without TV, but if you get too immersed in that soap opera or drama, you learn to neglect your own life and independent thinking. A show, depending on how it's written, can portray something as good or bad. Take speeding for instance. A show might show dozens of kids speeding on the highway at 100 mph, and they all get away fine. Then that starts you thinking: "Why am I not supposed to speed? I can get away with it."

Not that TV is bad, but it is not real life. You're smart, I'm sure you know that. If you're not in control, something else is controlling you. Drugs. TV. Drama. Smoking. Whatever. In Fahrenheit 451, the media. Guy had never questioned anything before that girl met him. You get the point, right?

... Wow, that just turned into a sermon. Sorry about that. I tend to ramble on. So ANYWAY. Fahrenheit 451 is a great read about censorship and thinking, and I definitely suggest putting it on your next "Book to read" list.

Next time? Not so heavy. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment