Burn Baby Burn

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

We are now in a time and place where books are forbidden and burned if found by Firemen. Now the job of a Fireman isn’t to put out flames, but to set houses found with books on fire. The world has moved on from books and those found harboring them risk losing their home and being arrested. Guy Montag, who has been a Fireman for ten years, knows the joy that comes from watching the burn. His father and his grandfather were both Fireman before him and he willingly enough has followed in their footsteps. He has a wife, Millie, who takes part in everyday activities like watching TV and taking part in some of the TV shows.  And this is society. But there are those that still read, that still converse, that still question, that still wonder but they are outcast. There are those that will sacrifice there lives before letting these choices to be taken away from them. These outcast affect Guy in a way that he would never imagine. It sets off a fire in him of imagination that causes him to make decisions that will forever change his life and the lives of those around him.
                The first time I read this book I was in high school and instantly intrigued. How can a society without books exist? How ignorant would that society be? Bradbury doesn’t show a society of ignorance, instead he shows a society of complacence where people are happy not having to question or wonder or care about anything except for what is presented to them. Throughout the book you are given glimmers of hope through those citizens who rebel against the norm. This is, for me at least, a desperate and depressing situation but extremely fascinating.

               Bradbury did an amazing job at presenting a world beyond our imagining. A world where people chose to be complacent, uniformed individuals.  A world where entertainment has taken the place of education and a higher education no longer exists. Menial task have taken over the day to day life and the majority of people are ok with the situation, in fact they enjoy having no responsibilities and no knowledge. I could never imagine a world where that is okay and applauded. I recommend this book to everyone for all these reasons. Never become complacent. Never allow your mind to be so involved in entertaining society that it forgets to challenge itself. Enjoy this book but let it serve as a warning to what can happen when everyone decides that knowledge is no longer necessary. 


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