Kicking off for the holidays, I started with a dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The book is regarded as one of the best dystopian novels.
Set in America, after World War 3 and few nuclear warfare, we meet this character Guy Montag, who works as a fireman. In this novel, firemen have different jobs from our world’s firemen; instead of putting out fire, they are obliged to burn every books they see. Now in this world, the books are banned, and people do not own freedom of speech. The worst part is, people are just blindly brainwashed by the totalitarian Government, believing that their current, oppressed life is happy. They are occupied by “parlor”, the TVs, which constantly distract people from seeing what really matters to their lives.
Guy Montag, meets this mysterious, and considered, crazy girl named Clarisse McClellan. She was an outcast, and often wandered off from school, being lost in her own imaginative world. That’s when Guy started to become in touch with the world that we know now, where freedom of speech, expression existed.
In the chapter of “The Hearth and Salamander”, Captain Beatty (another fireman; Guy’s superior) justifies the reason for the government’s censorship. He says, “Speed up the film, Montag, quick… Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline!… Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!”. Ray Bradbury here, used varieties of syntax and sounds to effectively portray people right now, perhaps the possibility of the government seeking chance to oppress us, just like in Guy’s world. Now this is a very impressive quote Ray has used to show the sophistry of the world’s elite’s explanation of the censorship, perhaps Ray slightly portending our future being just blindly consumed by elites, oppressing us from the reality.
This book, not only a dystopian sci-fi novel, but also is a very inspiring book that gives us motifs and direction to live with volition without the oppression from anyone. I suggest you read this book and perhaps get more motivation to read!