Title Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
My favorite dystopian novel will forever be Brave New World however, I can see how the three (Brave New World, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451) all work together. And they really do the three novels paint a picture of a horrible society. I enjoyed reading Fahrenheit 451– it’s one that I’ve always meant to read, but I hadn’t. I’ve checked it out from the library a few times, and it’s just gone back without me opening it up. Something just clicked this last time, and I read it in two days. I started it and got about halfway through, wondering if I was even going to finish. I just felt like I wasn’t getting it. That the premise was going over my head and I was reverting back to class when everyone else was seeing symbolism behind great literary works and I was just plodding along reading the words.
The second day everything clicked. I understood. The words flew off the pages, and I was caught up in this terrible world where reading is outlawed and the only acceptable form of conversation and human interaction is the television. It’s terribly depressing if you think about it, and in a way I was seeing parallels to today’s world. We’re all so obsessed with the internet, social media and the direct feed of entertainment, and the plethora of it at our fingertips that often times we forget that we’re social beings–not just names on a social media site.
Okay, didn’t mean to go off on a tangent there. But that’s what made this book click for me. It’s a haunting read, and not my favorite out of the BIG THREE dystopian classics, I can understand why it has such an underground following. Which again I think is neat because it parallels the world Bradbury set up in his book.
Overall It’s a good book with social commentary that extends even to this time and age. Terrifying due to the realism and the fact that it could happen one day. Plus, who wants to live in a world without books? I know I don’t.