Fahrenheit 451


Dr T
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When I was younger I picked up Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. I was bored to death and put it down. My sister-in-law, a high school English teacher was using it in her class last year and I told her what I thought of it. She asked that I try reading it again and so I picked it up at the local library. It’s a small book and I’m very glad I did.

The main character of this book, Guy Montag, is a fireman but his job is not to put fires out but to burn books. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper burns. Through an encounter with 17 year-old Clarisse McClellan and retired English professor, Faber, he realizes his dissatisfaction with life. Mildred, his wife, escapes her meaningless existence by surrounding herself with wall-sized TV screens, calling the TV characters "family." The drone of warplanes overhead is drowned out by commericialism and entertainment so that people go on with their lives based on what they are told and led to believe is normal without using their own minds. This book is a passionate commentary against mindlessness. Through Montag’s awakened understanding of the doldrums of life in the future and his limited connections with others he begins to question his wife’s, his coworkers and his existence and what he was doing for a “living.” People just sort of “disappear” and there really isn’t much questioning of what happened. “I heard she died or something” is basically his Wife’s reaction and didn’t give it much more thought than that. The reason I didn’t like this book the first time I tried to read it was because it was SO boring. This last time I read it I understood that the point was just that-boredom. He didn’t have much to do, didn’t talk to people, didn’t have much passion about his wife and didn’t even remember the last time they talked, really talked or when they met. If you are able to sit down one evening knowing what they book is about-I’d say it’s worth your time. Check it out and come let me know what you thought. Thanks.

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If you liked Fahrenheit 451 and are in to the dystopic future thing, you should try reading "A Brave New World"(Which I think is very close to the future) and "1984"(Which everyone recommends).

In terms of film, watch Equilibrium. It's FANTASTIC and touches on the idea of people becoming disconnected with those around them.

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I read Fahrenheit 451 as a teen and loved it. I am a book lover myself and so the book was a strange and horrific future for someone like me. Thinking about it now as an adult I can see where Bradbury was making a specific comentary on society and in particular governments. There are a few furturistic movies and books that it reminds me of. "A Brave New World" is a book I have on my "to read" list. I should re-read Fahrenheit 451 though. I am sure I have forgotten things about it since I was a teen.

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I remember reading that book in middle school, and being disgusted at the wife and her friends. How they reveled in what they were told to revel in. How they fought hard against the idea that thinking and learning is a good thing. How the one lady, at being emotionally moved by the beauty of a poem, reacted with fear and negativity to her own reaction, using it as proof that books were bad.

Then I went out into the world and met a whole bunch of people who are really like that in real life. It had a huge impact on my formative years.

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Funkytown hit the nail on the head. Bradbury's "451" is kind of a trilogy that goes with Orwell's "1984", and Huxley's "Brave New World".

Each were written a long time ago, and some of the descriptive ideas in them may be a little old fashioned, but the results within them can depict just where modern technological society can go if we dumb ourselves down enough.

The Pixar/Disney movie "Wall-E" also shows this danger, as the earth is contaminated, and all the people leave to dwell in space until it recovers. The people have been on the ship for decades, and have become fat and brainless idiots.

Today, we see a major dumbing down. People want to be safely entertained, rather than to create and build. These really are actually the key difference to the plan of God versus the apostate program Satan tried to put in place.

The Chinese people revolted in Tiananmen Square 20 years ago. Today they don't revolt, because they are happy with their McDonald's cheeseburgers and their electronic gaming systems.

Americans are getting angry with the economy, only because the safety net has been pulled out from underneath them, and they no longer can be safely entertained on the level they are accustomed to. But I don't think it is enough to have them wake up and get educated in real life, politics, and the things of God.

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Guest The_Doctor

It's been awhile since I've read it, so I don't remember what I thought the message was. But I've heard that the message that was being stated was to fear excessive equalization. And I could see how that is the message, because I remember the fire chief talking about how books made people less equal due to people learning and thinking. So they don't permit thought provoking entertainment.

And I still find this book terrifying, because if you look at social patterns now a days you start to see a lot of similarities. Even the "walls" sound familiar. And how do some people relate to their favorite reality shows or other TV programs? But there is a whole host of disturbing similarities between Mr. Bradbury's "future" and our present.

Edited by The_Doctor
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I was reading F. 451 with a 9th grade class once and got called into the principal's office. Some members of the community were raising a stink because the book "didn't have the spirit with it." One lady told her kids to misbehave during class so it would disrupt us in trying to read it.

When I asked her if she was apposed to us reading a book, about burning books and being ignorant she said, "Well of course!"

Truthfully, sometimes I think a career change would be in order.

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If you liked Fahrenheit 451 and are in to the dystopic future thing, you should try reading "A Brave New World"(Which I think is very close to the future) and "1984"(Which everyone recommends).

In terms of film, watch Equilibrium. It's FANTASTIC and touches on the idea of people becoming disconnected with those around them.

1984 = ultimate Communism

Brave New World = ultimate cosumerism

Farenheit 451 = ultimate Americanism

:eek:

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