Fahrenheit 451

series: Books
for the love of books

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tags: books;

I rememered vaguely Fahrenheit 451 to be one of those classics that one has to read. I did not remember why. I just had it on my list, and I presumed it to be some sort of futuristic orwellian story. With that in mind, I started reading the book expecting some philosophical argument to be made. Instead, I found myself reading about firemen who burnt books because they disturbed the ideals of society by introducing ideas that forced people to think. While my throat tightened and my senses numbed, the story progressed, correctly in the orwellian fashion, but completely focused on the idealogy of free thought, or the burden it possesed. Fahrenheit 451 was like a cry inside me for the love of books, a terrible nightmare about a world in which books were abhorred and burnt and anyone who possessed them deemed a madman incapable of rational thought. I cried to myself, at the terrible agony of wondering what would have happened if I had ever grown up without books. It felt like amputation, with an invisible part of you threatened to be chopped away. I fear to say more, for there is lots, to keep away from spoilers and a repeated rendition of the story. But I realise that there is more to the story than the overarching themes of books and free thoughts. There is also mindless consumerism, the incessant haste of everyone to run away from responsibilities, even if that means not thinking from within. Like the four-walled hyper-consumption of media, this world of ours is faceted with being told what fads to follow in watching, reading, eating, and thinking. It reminds me of The Fountainhead, and The Atlas Shrugged, and in some ways of the film Equilibrium. But I read it for the books, for that inseparable love every person who has grown wiser while reading feels.