Friday, October 17, 2014

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine a world where books are outlawed. The government dictates what you know. You receive information through television and radio. Technology is everywhere, and free thinking is suppressed. Fireman no longer put out fires, instead they start them, sent out on calls to burn the homes of people who have books.

Guy Montag is a fireman. He burns books for a living. His wife, Millie, lives in a world of television and sleeping pills, and can't (or won't) break away from her technology to really connect with the world, to think, to question. Guy slowly wonders what might be in all of these books being burned. The spark of knowledge takes hold. Montag's internal revolution begins, and opens his eyes to an entirely different world.

Often thought to be a book about the dangers of government censorship, Bradbury says it is instead about how he felt television was destroying literature. I can see why Bradbury feared this, and I think it's important that we always balance our advancements in technology with open thought and discourse. Don't be afraid to speak your mind and argue. Don't be afraid to be wrong. Don't be afraid to learn.

This book an important reminder of how damaging censorship can be, and how important it is to challenge the status quo. Encourage people to read. Read things you don't like. Read things that make you think. Expand your horizons. Then put down your book, and talk about it with someone. Argue, or agree, but share your thoughts. Diversity of thought is vital to maintaining a strong society of advancement and innovation.

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