Terri's Cellar Door

Stuff that happens to me, Terri.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

泰丽 写 得。

Having to choose an author for an oral report is like being a kid in the candy store for me. I love so many great authors that choosing just one is the hardest thing to do. I chose Ray Bradbury because I had just read a very interesting article about Fahrenheit 451 and wanted the opportunity to share it with the class. When I read that book in high school I thought the plot was simply about burning books. It was much like when I read Animal Farm in fifth grade and thought the book was just about barnyard animals revolting. There is the top story, but a rich subtext. I came to realize that the Fahrenheit 451 wasn’t really about the people burning the books, or even the act of burning the books. The story is really about the society that created an atmosphere where no one protested the destroying of the books. It’s about a world that is so culturally starved that burning a book is no more than lighting a match. In the world created by Bradbury, and increasingly being seen today, people are cut off from the outside world, and interactions with other people. A person can put on a iPod and not have to talk to another human being all day. It is in the most normal and banal of activities that we retain our humanness. It is in those moments of small talk, and dealing with people that we don’t want to (but have to) deal with that makes us who we are. The society in Fahrenheit 451 does not have that. They have the world created by Jerry Springer and reality shows, and the world that says all you need to know is encompassed in a little screen; be it a television or computer screen. The people in that future are not only cut off from each other, but their cut off from themselves. They can’t display the normal human emotions that we have today, and are medicated against them. They live their lives in a stupor filled with television and drugs, and when someone tries to break free from that life, through books, they are burned alive. Perhaps the woman who killed herself along with her precious tomes was the most alive of all the characters in the story. Certainly Montag, before he discovered himself, and certainly all of the drones who degrade their minds by staring at a television screen all day. The answer to this future doesn’t just lie in books, but what the books represent; free thought. The books were just a gateway. They opened the door to the flood of emotion and free thought that can set a society and a people free. The books themselves aren’t important, even what’s inside of them isn’t the most important thing. A society doesn’t cease to exist because the records of its’ past are gone. A society becomes stagnant because its’ people, on their basest levels have forgotten what it means to be truly human.


Blogger Henning said...

I was just tagging along whith my father. It was his trip. I saw NASCAR...
BUT(!) if your ever planing on coming to Norway (!) you should tell me, couse you had never even heared of us until I spesified the diference between us and Netherland, and I might tell you a thing or two;)

12:56 AM  

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