Fahrenheit 451

June 24, 20222 min read

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Fahrenheit 451 is eerily prescient in its warnings. We follow Guy Montag, a firefighter in world turned upside down – where the firefighters light fires rather than extinguish them. A world where constant entertainment depleted society’s attention span, so that in essence people became vehicles of their bland consumption. Books were forgotten and then banned, but they still existed, hidden away in the crevices, behind closed eyes.

“Do you understand now why books are hated and feared? Because they reveal the pores on the face of life. The comfortable people want only the faces of the full moon, wax, faces without pores, hairless, expressionless.”

Guy Montag one day meets the most curious person he’s ever met, someone who asks questions that he’s never thought of. This brief encounter changes his life forever, as if he was woken from a trance. He reads for the first time, and it paints him a target.

“We do need knowledge. And perhaps in a thousand years we might pick smaller cliffs to jump off. The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.”

I really see the resemblance in how even in this day and age, books are being banned, knowledge being stifled and attention grabbing media rewiring our brains to miss what it means to be alive.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that . Shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.”

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Apurva Shukla

Created by Apurva Shukla.

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