Friday, September 4, 2009

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

A book about banning books... perfect for Banned Books month!

Synopsis: (from B&N.com)

Internationally acclaimed with more than 5 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago.

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he 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 he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!

Fahrenheit 451 portrays a powerful theme: that when you take away books from a society, you take away free thought and free will. Books are food for the brain. Television and media are usually the opposite, and this is what Bradbury potrays in his book. It is a very interesting read and it is scary how true his future predictions seem.

Here is what Bradbury has to say about censorship's relationship to the novel:

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist / Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist / Women's Lib / Republican / Mattachine / FourSquareGospel feel it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse….Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever. ... Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with the censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.

Visit Ray Bradbury's site HERE. Check it out.

3 comments:

  1. They've censored and edited this of all books? Woah. I have this on my desk to read this month. I've always been a little scared of it because the movie did not sit well with me when they showed it to me in middle school, but I'm finally going to try to read it.

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  2. I've been interested in this book for awhile. I'll se if library has it. :)

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  3. That's unacceptable. Really just plain bad. Now I wonder of my copy of it has been tampered with. Stupid closed-minded idiot people.

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