Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fahrenheit 451: 3 Stars

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I wanted to like this book far more than I actually did. I read a few of Bradbury's short stories when I was in college and loved them. One in particular, The Murderer, really stuck with me. Considering that Fahrenheit 451 has a very similar theme as The Murderer, I was excited.

Overall, this was a good book. I found it very interesting that Bradbury described so much of today's technology before it actually existed. I also feel similar with the two themes I noted in the book, although his story is obviously greatly exaggerated.

The first theme is that of technology actually hurting us despite it's purposing of helping. While I love technology and obviously use a lot of it, it does have some disadvantages. For instance, with a profound numbers of ways to watch entertaining shows and the ability to create them with ease, there is a plethora of crap out there. Most of America could tell you what happened on the latest episode of Jersey Shore, but not what's happening in the world. Not to mention our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. If we aren't entertained immediately, we often stop paying attention.

The second theme I noted was that we can lose individuality with our need to end pain, sadness, and offense. We spend so much time trying to make sure everyone is happy and that no one feels offended or left out. While that is not bad, the fact that we are losing personal rights and individuality is. It is not happening to the extreme we see in the book, but it is happening. We take pills when we feel sad to help us feel better. We avoid saying anything that might possibly offend anyone within earshot, often times hiding who we are and what we believe. We believe more and more that what we have to say shouldn't be heard, just in case.

The main reason I didn't like the book is that I was bored. I could see where the novel was going from the beginning and felt that Bradbury took too long to get there. After awhile I was bored. I realize that this wasn't a long novel, but I feel like he could have shortened this novel a great deal and still made the same impact.

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