Did you read ‘Fahrenheit 451’ written by Ray Bradbury?
Generally, I read nonfiction books and stay away from dystopian books. But, this was an exception. When I saw the words
‘Fahrenheit 451 – The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns‘
printed on the first page this book, I was intrigued.
After I read this classic book, I wondered “How did I miss such a great book about books?”
Fahrenheit 451 is a novel set in a bleak, dystopian future. The novel is set in the backdrop of a future time where books are feared and Television is considered the prime source of information and entertainment . Guy Montag is a fireman and his job is to destroy books along with the houses which they are hidden. One day when he meets a young neighbor Clarisse, his attitude changes and he begins to question his duties as a fireman. What does Montag do once he realizes his mistakes is the rest of the story .I don’t want to reveal the ending as it came as a surprise to me and I don’t want to spoil your thrill if you want to read the book. However, if you want the plot, check the Wikipedia.
I love several passages in the book. Here are the best out of the best of them.
- “There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
- “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”
- “With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.”
- “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”
- “We have everything we need to be happy but we aren’t happy. Something is missing…
It is not books you need, it’s some of the things that are in books. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
- “Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.”
- “Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
There are several such quotes in the book and you can appreciate them better if you read the entire novel.
This story which was written in 1953 is relevant to the current age. Sixty years ago, the author was worried that the books were getting extinct with the advent of TV and Rado. I wonder what he would have thought if he saw this generation where the internet is ruling our lives. This book also warns us of the dangers ahead if we don’t preserve the habit of reading books.
In my opinion, if you love books, you should read this book!
Did you read this classic novel? What’s your opinion? What are your favorite classic books?