Monday, March 31, 2014

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Aside from Bradbury’s stunning ability to portray a realistic future, one which is strikingly similar to the age we’re living in now, the most beautiful aspect of this book, in my opinion, is mood it emits. A mood that returned to me four years after reading this book, to haunt my sleep and make me want to pick it up again. 

Shown through Bradbury’s expressive writing style, this book starts off with an eerie dream-like feel to it. The repetitiveness is used to emphasize people’s lack of original thought in a world where it is practically illegal to think for yourself. But as the protagonist, Guy Montag, starts thinking for himself, the writing itself changes, becoming more descriptive and emotional, as Montag enters an awakening. Through this change, the changing mood is also exposed.

The main part of the book made me feel heavy and sick, as Bradbury describes how this future is- a world where people are constantly plugged into their electronics, much like how it is today. And because it is so similar in that sense, it’s not hard to imagine our world slowly changing into one of no emotion and no intellect, where sports are the only thing prized in school, and entertainment comes before everything else, where family means nothing and ‘happiness’ and conformity mean everything.

However, there is hope in this dreary future. Montag’s discovery of some of the world’s remaining intellects sparked me with the idea of possibility, and a renewed faith in humanity. The idea of writers and books living on through their readers was shocking to me at first, until I realized that it so true to how it is today. Through reading, we’re not only carrying on the stories, but we’re incorporating them into our lives and thoughts so that we can grow as individuals. 

While reading this part, it suddenly made me want to go outside in barefeet and feel the mud between my toes. It made me want to smell the rain and listen to the silence between the noise. And most importantly, it made me want to read every book I could get my hands on. 

I could say so much more about this book, aside from just emphasizing the importance of the mood. Instead, I think it’s important for you to read it and form your own opinions on it. I recommend it to absolutely every reader, and any person who is willing to give it a try. 

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