Sunday, August 9, 2009
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The classic, everyone-must-read-book, about book burning. Ray Bradbury is my hero. This book is so-o-o important as I consider the effects of book censorship or book banning. I am especially moved by comments made by Bradbury in the Afterward and the Coda. Here is a poignant quote from the play that Bradbury wrote twenty years after 451 was published where each character comes out of the shadows and explains more about his/her character. This quote is from Fire Chief Beatty:
"The man who loved books, no the boy who was wild for them, insane for them, who climbed the stacks like a chimpanzee gone mad for them. I ate them like salad, books were my sandwich for lunch, my triffin and dinner and midnight munch. I tore out the pages, ate them like salt, doused with relish, gnawed on the bindings, turned the chapters with my tongue! Books by the dozen, the score and the billion...you name 'em, I ate 'em." (Pgs. 170-171)
Ever feel like that? Like you could just eat up a book it is so good?
Here is another favorite quote taken from the Afterward. When Bradbury was confronted with a publisher's request to print one of his short stories in an anthology but only if the 'offending' phrases were omitted, Bradbury said:
"The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches. Every minority, be it...(long list here)...feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse..." (Pgs. 176-177)
I recommend that you reread or read this book for the first time. Remind yourself about how censorship hurts everyone.
5 out 5 stars.