After a friend of mine suggested I read it, I didn't put it down. It still keeps my mind wandering.
First understand that typically when I pick up a book, I obsessively read throughout the weekend, late into the night until I finish it. BUT, when I first picked up Fahrenheit 451 I read to a certain point.. and put the book down. I didn't pick it up again for some time. When something inside me told me to pick it up again I was amazed! The exact point I began reading answered in my mind a life dilema I was experiencing. I read onward.
Again I put the book down, and again when I picked it up some time later the same thing happened. Some new life dilema was answered by the wisdom of the book at the exact spot I had began reading.
This happened so many times with 451 that I took it as a sign. I would stop reading when my gut told me to stop, and I would NOT pick it up again until my gut told me to. AND sure enough it was always like a wise grandmother imparting to me wisdom to assist me beyond a stopping point in my mental/emotional development.
When I think of Fahrenheit 451 I of course think of all that Ray Bradbury no doubt intended us to think, but I also wonder about the unique wisdom it imparted to me and my particular life situations.
"4 5 1"
I always get a kick out of seeing these iconic numbers in public places: on house or business addresses, as the # for hymnal songs, on a license plate. in a phone number, part of some statistical chart, or even as a number that comes up randomly in a head-count or attendance figure.
However, Mr. Bradbury's plot in F451 is all about "what was" but is "no longer". Or what you have been made to believe "it is", when actually it is something "totally different". And of course, eliminating something completely so that those next in line, whether an individual or an entire generation, have no idea what "once was" really "actually was!"
In any event, here is a special salute to Mr. Ray Bradbury. Thanks again for the "kicks" when "4 5 1" shows up - well over 40 years since my initial encounter with your wonderful book.
Oh, look! "4 5 1" is in the news today. The Book People must be snickering: http://www.judicialwatch.org/b...y-national-archives/
You are right fjp451! The most compelling stories such as 1984 by Orwell, Fahrenheit 451, Logan's Run by Nolan and Johnson, and The Giver by Lois Lowry all deal with that "Aha!" moment when the main character discovers his society is a tissue of lies at the mercy of truly evil forces. Ray called Singing in the Rain Science Fiction as it dealt with people encountering a new technology and incorporating it into their lives. After rereading To Kill a Mockingbird I would suggest that to a lesser extent the movie, and to a greater extent the book, are in fact Science Fiction. Observe and ponder how much of the book depicts Jem's utter shock and disillusionment on learning what the citizens of his "nice, friendly small town" are capable of and even cherish as ideals! The night scene on the courthouse steps when Scout talks about entailments I would identify as the "Aha" scene.
Today's PARADE MAGAZINE (a Sunday newspaper supplement that appears in a number of papers around the U.S., including the Chicago Tribune in my area), had an article called "The 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years", selected by writer Ann Patchett and the staff of Nashville bookstore Parnassus Books. One of the books on the list? FAHRENHEIT 451.
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