It's time to start another novel with my 10th graders, and I was debating between 1984 by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury. After much thought, research, and discussion with colleagues, I decided on Fahrenheit 451, and I am extremely happy that I did.
I haven't read Fahrenheit 451 in a very long time, and I just finished reading it, and I absolutely love this novel. Ray stated that he wrote this novel to show the importance of literature, and he did exactly that.
The setting for Fahrenheit 451 is the future, and it is a world where books are banned, everyone watches television for pleasure, and independent thinking is illegally.
Now, books provide an avenue for people to think about things from different perspectives, and I value different perspectives, and that is why I absolutely love books. I could not image the world without books. I have no idea what I would do with my free time, since television is definitely not my drug of choice. In this novel, there are a few people who feel like I do about books, and they managed to escape the world of burning books, and are desperately trying to preserve words in their minds, and one day they hope to rewrite books.
The main character in Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag, remembers, after he escaped that book burning world, that he remembered parts of The Book of Ecclesiastic from The Bible. He started to remember the lines "To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silent and a time to speak."
Now, I have been wondering why would Bradbury have Guy remember The Book of Ecclesiastic and the above lines in particular?
The narrator of The Book of Ecclesiastic calls himself a "teacher." As the wisest man in Jerusalem, the "teacher" sees himself as having the burden of teaching wisdom to the people. The "teacher" finally concludes that the wise and foolish both experience the same kind of death, and he concludes that humans should honor God, eat, drink, and be merry (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/oldtestament/section12.rhtml).
So, you know that my brain has been working overtime to try and understand why would Ray Bradbury chose The Book of Ecclesiastic, and I have so many theories. I can't wait to hear what my
Now this short novels deals with the idea of The Book of Ecclesiastic and so many other ideas such as the character Phoenix from Greek Mythology, the idea of pleasure, the idea of death and on and on and on.
So, Fahrenheit 451 is truly an example of why the world needs book; books makes people expand their minds and think. Oh, how I love Fahrenheit 451, because it has given my brain many things to think about on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I can't wait to use Fahrenheit 451 to foster thinking in my students.
Read Fahrenheit 451 and THINK......
Happy Sunday, My People!!!!