Monday, September 28, 2015

Banned Book Week: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


Banned Books Week is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and I am excited to be participating again!


So I chose to read Fahrenheit 451. I read this many many years ago, and it was time to revisit this classic. What a perfect time to read a book not just about the banning of books, but the burning of them, and the banning of reading. It's ironic, but a sad irony, the kind you don't want to see. When life imitates art and not in a good way.

Fahrenheit 451 is about a fireman -  in this world, firemen set fire to books, their job it is to burn them, and the houses of any people who dare to have books in their homes. Guy Montag meets a young woman outside her home one night, and her kindness and curiosity awaken the curiosity of Guy. She makes him think, wonder. We later learn that Guy has another secret, a stash of books he has taken on the sly from homes he has burned. He ends up on the run from the government as he refuses to turn away from this new side of himself, and ultimately murders his boss. Guy makes it out of the city after a harrowing chase through the streets, pursued by the Electric Hound, and finds himself in a group of revolutionaries, self-exiled from the cities walking the rails, who read. 

It is a book about censorship, about whether the government should do the thinking for its people - for why should the people care or know anything about political candidates? - it's about people preserving knowledge for the future. I love the group that Montag is with in the very end, those fellow escapees committed to free thought and will, to the preservation of literature for future generations. Everyone has a book they are responsible for remembering, to hold onto until the time is right for the book to exist again. It always makes me wonder what book would I choose to be responsible for? What do I think is important enough, for whatever the reason, that I would try to keep it alive, waiting generations if necessary. I think that I may choose Watership Down, my favorite book.

Fahrenheit 451 has been challenged for reasons of language and for religious reasons. It blows my mind that someone could read this book and not understand that they were just doing exactly what the book was trying to show was so wrong! That you are censoring a book about censorship? Maybe that is what is so scary, and what they really are guarding against. Knowledge that you don't have to just accept what is told to you, that you can think about it, form your own opinions. 

If you haven't read this, or haven't read it in a long time like me, I urge you to pick it up. It is a quick but powerful read, and what better time to read it?





13 comments:

  1. I love this book and everything it stands for! EXCELLENT pick!

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for always hosting such an awesome event!

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  2. I read this so many years ago as my extended family read all Bradbury wrote. I graduated High School in1974 at rather conservative community with rather conservative racist parents, so when I came home with this as an assignment, it caused some consternation. As I have grown older, I realize how great a book it was....and I need to find it again

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    1. Oh wow! So you have a completely different background from which to look at this book. I haven't read all of Bradbury, just a few books, but every time I read one I want to read them all.

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  3. A favourite of my husband, I have been meaning to get around to reading this for a long while now. Great post, thank you.

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    1. Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it! This book really was very good, I enjoyed my revisit!

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  4. I read this one years ago...and saw the movie! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I forgot there was a movie! I will have to look it up.

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  5. I haven't read this since high school, I think it's definitely one that I need to read again as an adult!

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    1. Yes that is when I last read it as well! It was nice to go back and read it again! I felt like I picked up on things I missed the first time around.

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  6. It has been awhile since I've reread this book. I have yet to watch the movie.

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  7. I can't believe I haven't read this, but I'm going to rectify that soon and maybe even watch the movie. Gee it would be hard to pick just one book to be responsible for ... maybe Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, it's so important generations to come remember that history. Great post Erin!

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  8. I haven't read this - my excuse is that I majored in accounting in college and so I never had to take literature classes and thus was never made to read any classics. I need to read it soon - I know it's a very important book.

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I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.