Banned Books Awareness: “Fahrenheit 451″ by Ray Bradbury

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The first book I have chosen, apropos enough, is Ray Bradbury’s classic, Fahrenheit 451.  This classic tells the story of a not-so-distant future in which intellectual thought and books are illegal.  So-called “firemen” are charged with the duty of setting fire to books and the places in which they reside.

This is a book about censorship and those who ban books for fear of creating too much individualism and independent thought.

In late 1998, this book was removed from the required reading list of the West Marion High School in Foxworth, Mississippi. A parent complained of the use of the words “God damn” in the book. Subsequently, the superintendent instructed the the teacher to remove the book from the required reading list.

It was also banned in other schools for its “questionable themes”.  One of the main themes of the story is a government which tries to suppress freedom of expression should be opposed.  In the early 1950’s, when this book was written, this advocacy of opposition was seen as an evil  by real world authoritarian groups (McCarthyism) that claimed to have all the answers and, like the opposition to “1984”, the opposition to Fahrenheit 451 seems to grow as the depicted society grows too similar to our own.  The society that exists in the book is one of hedonism and self-centered entertainment.  That’s a fairly uncomfortable parallel to today’s increased use of entertainment in place of learning and culture.  Ray Bradbury has stated that this dumbing down was one of the concerns he was trying to raise.

*to read the previous discussion thread visit my original posting of this article on Facebook*

Sources: American Library Association

© 2011 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions

7 comments

destiny #permalink

loved the book:)

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Morgan #permalink

extremley stupid all because religous idots think that they can rule the world i have no faith in mainkind anymore

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    Lauren #permalink

    Well, they don't have to be religious to be idiots. They can just be the garden variety idiots.

    Reply
Camerann #permalink

very creative book. What makes it kind of scary, though, is the fact that what is in this story has a lot in common with our everyday life. Personally, I find Mildred(Guy Montag's) wife the most miserable woman ever. She is "spoon-fed" her information. She learns nothing new and nothing changes. But thats just my opinion. Excellent choice of reading…

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Lily #permalink

surprisingly stunning book

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Tech Jr #permalink

great book, interesting plot. i hope i can make one like this

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