Banned Books Week: Fahrenheit 451

To celebrate Banned Books Week 2012, the library will be posting reviews and commentary from college staff and students about their favorite banned books and why during the celebration.

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

In 1953, Ray Bradbury did not know what we would have in the 21st century. Smartphones with Bluetooth attachments to keep track of our daily lives, large high definition televisions that are almost as big as walls, and a fascination with reality television are many things that are merely hinted at in Fahrenheit 451.  In a near future ravaged by war, society has found no need of books and the conflicting views that are part of the reading experience and the need for quicker gratification by society.  Books become Reader’s Digests become CliffsNotes.

Written during the early years of the Cold War and 1950’s McCarthyism, Bradbury’s novel is about censorship, nuclear annihilation, and mindfulness. The characters figuratively stand on soapboxes during lengthy monologues meant to persuade the main character, Guy Montag, to the right way of living, using literature to prove each other’s points.  The great irony of course is this book being on the ALA banned books list primarily for language, violence, and its threat of burning a Bible though its text is later used as a form of salvation.  It is an excellent and quick read that can be found at the library.

Other books by Ray Bradbury can also be found at the library.

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