Heres the prompt: the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, depicts a futuristic society where books are burned. The main character, Montag, comes to learn that "firemen are rarely necessary" because "the public itself stopped reading of its own accord." below i left a snip-it from the coda of the book that really stood out to me. i believe its what Bradbury has to say about future books. after reading the snip-it, would you defend, challenge, or assert with his argument and why?
and here is the snip-it of the coda: "Some 5 years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 (count 'em) short stories in it. How do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book?
Simplicity itself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito — out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron’s mouth twitch — gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer — lost!
Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky read like — in the finale — Edgar Guest. Every word of more than three syllables had been razored. Every image that demanded so much as one instant’s attention — shot dead."
"For, lets face it, digression is the soul of wit. Take philosophical asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones. laurence Sterne said it once: Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, the life, and the soul of reading! Take them out and on cold eternal winter would reign in every page. Restore them to the writer-he steps forth like a bridegroom, bids them all-hail, brings in variety and forbids the appetite to fail.
In sum, do not insult me with beheadings, finger-choppings or lung-deflation's you plan for my works. I need m head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or make into a fist, my lungs to shout or whisper with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book."
ive written my essay and i just want it checked by my peers who im sure are much better essay writers than myself.
here the essay:
Knowledge is something that we all value, therefore, one should retain as much knowledge as possible so that they are not drained when the suppression of intelligence occurs. We're all granted the freedom to be educated and when this freedom is seized from us it can cause people to rebel, or even worse, destroy their own being. In the novel, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, a writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery, shows a situation where just that happens. Bradbury describes a setting where the decisions that the authority makes can have a big impact on the lives of many. The one time authority figure in the novel whom also plays the protagonist, Guy Montag, finally comes to the realization that his occupation is an evil and un-just one; so he fights for an end to the burning of books. Bradbury got a lot of his motivation and ideas for his novel, Fahrenheit 451, from previous experiences writing novels which he mentions in his coda, “the concluding passage of a piece.” He explains how numerous critics began to change his writing because it was not pleasing them, whether it be because of religious, social, sexual, or personal reasons. This leads to Bradburys belief that the future of books is a nonexistent one. He explains that books will be simplified and this idea is supported by the destruction of books in Fahrenheit 451. Contemporary society also supports this idea of simplification because as of today books are no longer a first resort but rather a last one when it comes to the search for information.
The ultimate simplification of books is non other than physically destroying them all together. In bradburys novel, he gives a sensational amount of situations where the destruction of books is performed and for most is a situation of pure glee. When Ray states that “it was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed,” he is merely describing the joy and pride that the firemen felt when putting an end to what was deemed wrong in society (1). “The Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in the dark corner of the firehouse'; (24), wrote Bradbury to describe this hound. Like the hound, society was alive yet dead as well, drudging through life; mindless. The Hound was a programmed robot that didn’t think on its own; that only acted as it was told. Captain Beatty states, “It just ‘functions’. It has a trajectory we decide on for it. It follows through. It targets itself, homes itself, and cuts off. Its only copper wire, storage batteries, and electricity'; (20), and “It doesn’t think anything we don’t want it to think'; (27). That society was programmed to not think, wonder or ask why. Mntag’s world continues on without thought; without any real reason. There is no learning, no growth, no purpose. Ray uses a powerful quote by Juan Ramon Jimenez to challenge the way the people in fahrenhiet 451 think; he states that "if they give you ruled paper, write the other way." Don't suddenly come to the conclusion that what the government or society say is correct. Who is the government to establish what the social normality is? Its clear to the reader that the government is as blind as most of the civilians.
When the information is as far away as a click of a button, no one would oblige to use it before other methods. The technology and new resources that we have in modern society over-rules the popularity of books because of the simple reason that technology is so convenient now-a-days. In present times, children are now being separated from traditional learning methods. For instance, calculators are beginning to replace working for mathematics and spell check on computers replacing the need to proof read. Today instead of learning how to do things in our minds we are taught how to put the problem into some type of machine for it to produce an answer instead. As a diverse nation our society attempts to please everyone regardless of their background. Like today's commercials trying to show that a certain product is not only for one minority, "You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred" (59). We cant risk discouraging, or worse infuriating a minority in order to please the next. As far as decisions are made, in our present time era we have the tendency to be blind sheep when it comes to opinions. The majority of television viewers are influenced by the opinions of the media or other current affair programs. It can affect or change our beliefs towards a subject. In the book ray quotes mildewed saying,"The televisor is `real'...It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn't time to protest."
With the simplification of books weather it be permanently in regards of its existence no longer viable or in regards of books gone for good, the reader comes to the conclusion that Bradbury is speaking to the reader in between the lines of Fahrenheit 451. He is stating that if we don't question our surrounding than we will fall into the belief that society is correct. Society shouldn't change us because of the mere fact that the hands of society aren't any cleaner than ours.