A dystopian sci-fi world where books are banned and literature is on the brink of extinction. Reading is censored and the world is on the verge of a war that would consume everything.
It’s an intriguing read. Fascinating you to consider the possibilities that such a world exists and we are probably living in one, it makes you absolutely breathless with anticipation as to what would happen next and to see it having or give it what it really needs and craves with a desperation.
The ending is bleak and leaves much to ponder upon but it is nevertheless an exciting read with two glaring issues that cannot be ignored :
Aren’t we all too comfortable to be existing in our own bubbles?
Finding it all too easy to be living a cozy life dictated to us by a bunch of bullies and submissing ourselves to it, numbing ourselves from the very difficult task of thinking on our own or having our own opinions. Stopping ourselves from not only question but also decide the kind of Life we want to live.
Because, submission is easy, it’s the standing up that takes courage.
And if we are the few lucky ones, it takes just a little nudge, a small push or probably a teeny poke from the right person at the right time to awaken us from our self-induced sleep that we all seem not to enjoy or like but still find difficult to rouse from.
Censorship of anything is bad. It creates much more intrigue and fascination about it than what not supressing it and letting the people decide for themselves would do. Controlling of individuals with social media and use of technology may work in the short term but in the long term would only stimulate a war for ones right to think and reason.
This is what happens with Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451. He has been living the life outlined for him by the State for years, doing the task he is assigned without much thought. It takes just a few meetings with his neighbour Clarisse to bring him to realization and truth that has been deluding him forever.
He has always wanted to come out of the world that has been created for him, that is what distances him from his wife Mildred who is more alive in the fantasy world of television ‘family’ than in the real world with him.
Once he has the taste of thinking, he knows what he has been missing and there is no looking back for him. He is ready to risk is entire life, career and his job to have the freedom to be able to have ideas and a thought process.
This book is about books and the strength that lies in them. They stimulate, persuade and provoke you to THINK! and no amout of censorship can take an individual away from what he believes in.
“There is nothing magical in them, at all.The magic is only in what book say, how they stitched the patches of the Universe together into one garment for us.”
“Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality means? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features….The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”
For me books are eternal. TV and the other forms of media have its own importance and neither can take place of the other.
Each has its own dangers and benefits. TV doesn’t make you an anti-intellectual but it cannot replace a good book too. I would any day read the book than go and watch a movie set on it.
Reading lets me have my own thoughts, ideas and imagination and media lets me be aware of what’s going on with the world.
I think it’s necessary to be able to strike a balance between the two and not completely ignore one over the other.
Bradbury’s dystopian fiction gives us an important outlook about the dangers of falling into the traps of social media head-on and amusing ourselves into stupefaction, but there is hope yet.
Hope that one would not be forever lulled into it either by force or affirmation.
Hope that come what may there would always be the power of imagination to fall back on.
As long as there are good books there will always be hope to a better world!