Quote of the week:

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
- William Shakespeare.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fahrenheit 451- A closer look into our present dystopian society.


To be honest, it came quite short to what I expected, since several friends of mine recommended it to me; although, I think it´s worth reading and analyzing.

First of all, Bradbury managed to successfully create a dystopian future that closely resembles ours, to a frightening luxury of detail.

The lack of human contact shamefully overpowered by artificial interaction, the lack of interest from people to learn and read, the callousness with which the individual treats his fellow man are all subjects to Bradbury´s microscope and again, ever present all around us nowadays.

I particularly enjoyed the metaphor to the anesthetizing effect television has on people, creating a false sense of interaction with the world and producing quite the contrary effect of alienating them from reality and, worse of all, depriving them from an independent, learned point of view by shoving in their heads prefabricated opinions and dogmas.

Last but not least, I liked the allusion he makes at the end of the novel to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki crimes, a.k.a the Atomic Bombs that “in three seconds” as Bradbury points out, ended World War II. Also, the comment he makes on the necessity to document such atrocities in the hope that we no longer commit them in the future, in the hope that somewhere along the line we are able to understand and restrain ourselves from taking such paths.

That being said, there are some things I didn´t like about Fahrenheit 451:

First, the social problems Bradbury denounces have previously and more adroitly been examined by earlier dystopian novels. But it´s not only that, my problem with it is that it sounds too repetitive, meaning that he failed, to my point of view, to cast a new light to such problems; he merely went along the line already trodden by greater novels in the genre. To be more specific, I think he repeated what Aldous Huxley did – regarding to pointing out social problems- in “Brave New World”; but compared to it, Fahrenheit simply falls flat and comes short against the insightful existentialism portrayed by Huxley.

I also found in this novel an excessive use of metaphors, reaching to the point of blotting out the one or two really profound or even poetic remarks contained in the prose. It all sounds too contrived, an overstrained effort to sound poetical that lacks the swift and smooth pace of other writers and ends up defeating its own purpose. So in that regard, it completely diminishes the quality of the novel, it breaks off the mood and somewhat leads you away to dead end paths.

As a conclusion, I believe the novel is not so much about censorship, but about how society, on its own accord, decides to stop reading, to stop thinking, learning, deciding; what Bradbury does is point out to us how people in society don´t have to be oppressed by a government, how the state doesn´t have to force ignorance on the vast majority of the population, but it´s society itself that manages to do that in an extremely effective way. He tells us how we are our own worst enemies when it comes to intellectual freedom and enlightenment.

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