View Poll Results: Fahrenheit 451 : Final Verdict

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  • * Waste of time. Wouldn't recommend it.

    0 0%
  • ** Didn't like it much.

    0 0%
  • *** Average.

    5 35.71%
  • **** It is a good book.

    5 35.71%
  • ***** Liked it very much. Would strongly recommend it.

    4 28.57%
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Thread: September / Dystoptian Reading: Fahrenheit 451

  1. #31
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I agree with what Mutatis-Mutandi stated previously about the prose of the book. I really enjoy the way it is written in that regard. There are some very beautiful descriptions within the book, and at times it is even almost poetic. There also seems to be a certain sparseness in how it is written which is something that I often enjoy in books. I do liked the sort of minimalist approach.

    I also agree with Mutatis-Mutandi about the originality in the book in the way in which it is told from the point of view of the "destroyers" so to speak. I love books which offer the reader unconventional perspectives and allow us to see things from varying different points of view. I like the way in which the books does sort of force the reader into being sympathetic towards Montag, when he would ordinarily be seen as the bad guy.

    I like the sort of working man picture we are given of him. He is not the one who is in charge, and he himself is just trying to do his job without any reason for him to question the rightness or wrongness of what he is doing, becasue he has never known the world to be any different. Yet he does have his moments of struggle and questioning in which he is not completely at ease with his conscious.

    But in some way's it feels as if this book is more of a character study than really an examination of soceity becaue there is still not presented a clear idea of just what is taking place, or the reasons for how things got to that point. Thus far the only insight that has really been offered is that there are fireman that go around burning books, there is still no indication of what the ones who have created this world are aiming to acomplish with thier censorship.

    And though we are given indications that things were not always like this, there is still no offered explanation for how they had come to be this way.

    So it is an interesting look into the life, thoughts, feelings, of Montag, but still I do not have a clear picture of what is happening outside of that.

    And while the whole idea about having the fireman now being the ones to start fire, I thought was a bit of an interesting concept, at the same time, it did seem to be a bit cartoonish that nothing else about being a fireman seemed to have changed or evolved. I could not help but feel that it was a bit silly to have the firemen sliding down the poles still, to rush off and start a fire.

    Another thing I did not quite understand, is why the have to completely burn down some ones entire house if it is the books they are after. Is it meant to be a punishment? or are they jut too lazy to take the books out of the house and burn them in the street? It seems like a bit of overkill that they find a book in someones house so they burn the whole house down.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #32
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    Another thing I did not quite understand, is why the have to completely burn down some ones entire house if it is the books they are after. Is it meant to be a punishment? or are they jut too lazy to take the books out of the house and burn them in the street? It seems like a bit of overkill that they find a book in someones house so they burn the whole house down.
    The idea I took from that is that the books are an infection which spread to the people in the house. Burning the books is not enough to erase them (as demonstrated by the book-memorizing professors) - so you must destroy everything - the more destroyed the better.

    As for the context of the society - I have to believe that he purposely decided not to reveal the back story to the war - probably in attempt to make it seem more realistic. We don't know exactly how this started - so maybe it could happen to us?
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  3. #33
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    The idea I took from that is that the books are an infection which spread to the people in the house. Burning the books is not enough to erase them (as demonstrated by the book-memorizing professors) - so you must destroy everything - the more destroyed the better.
    Now that you mention, that does make me think back to when Montag had his wife's stomach pumped when she swallowed the sleeping pills. The people who came to do it made a statement of that similar affect. That you have to take out all of the bad blood and put in new blood becasue if they leave anything behind than the mind can still become infected, or something close to that effect.

    That it would not do any good if they only removed the poison of the pills, but everything had to be taken out to truly cleanse the person.

    So it is similar with the books in this case. As you stated, it would not be enough to simply just remove the books, becasue they have already begun to spread their poison, so everything must be burned down thus forcing the people to buy a new home and start completely afresh.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #34
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    I kind of like that there's no back story to how the society became the way it is. It would have just been exposition, and it would have been, quite likely, extremely unoriginal, so I think it was a good idea to just leave it out. We can make inferences.

  5. #35
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    *deleted*
    Last edited by Dark Muse; 09-14-2011 at 06:36 PM.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #36
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    I've been a bit negative, I feel, about the book, and perhaps not refelcted how much I liked it whilst reading. I'm going to make another negative though.I don't feel he fairly reflects people generally. They are presented as weak and almost hypnotised by
    the adverts and the TVs.

    I think people are much more complex than having existential crises hidden which only emerge in suicide attempts. I think a great number of us are naturally subversive - not actually lawbreakers - but law benders. We also see the women as weak. The only positive one is Clarissa McClellan, and she comes across as a bit of a dippy hippy from our perspectve here.

  7. #37
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    Yeah, but the people have become much weaker mentally do to the societal conditions. Now, whether the societal conditions could cause such a drastic behavioral change is a whole other issue.

    One must also consider the context of the time this came out, right when TV was becoming popular. He was taking a leap in predicting how bad it would become (and I doubt he would admit that he really believed this was going to be the future), and, honestly, he isn't that far off--statistics showing how much time people spend watching TV is proof enough. Also take in to account the quality of programming. People now watch "reality TV," which makes even the worst of sitcoms seem artistic. People do often zombify in front of the TV.

    And, as a reversal on Paul's statement, I think I've been a bit over-positive. I don't know how other people do the rating system above, but I rate purely on enjoyment. If I had to rate in an objective sense as to the quality of the book (or at least as objective as is possible) it'd be a 3 or 5.

  8. #38
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    In the 60s and 70s people were "very concerned" about the effects TV would have on the kids - from scare stories about developing square eyes to moral concerns about the possibility of weakened wills. You get the same kinds of things said nowadays about about computers and games consoles. The same generation that's supposed to be vegetating in front of the computer screen was organising and getting out to riot only last month.

  9. #39
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    Yeah, I don't get the whole "technology is desensitizing kids" argument. Allegedly, it's supposed to be destroying kids' ability to interacte face-to-face, even making it so they don't smile because they aren't used to actually showing physical emotion. After teaching high school for a semester, they seemed pretty normal to me.

  10. #40
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    I finished this recently and I agree with some of the things Orphan Pip and Paulclem said.

    I thought the ending was weak and overly convenient ... A group of homeless people walking places, warming themselves, observing nature, and somehow restoring art to a degenerated society? It seems a little trite.

    I hope this doesn't sound too stupid, but I thought some of the passages were inserted solely to expound Bradbury's theory, and did not really flow with the text. Others seemed a bit too rushed: for instance, when Clarisse asks Montag if he is happy at the very beginning. There is not enough leading up to it.

    About his style – I liked some of his prose, but not the beginning. He spent too much time describing Clarisse repeatedly in clichéd adjectives without enough verbs to hold them together.

    This sounds a bit negative but I did enjoy some of his ideas. I haven't read Brave New World or 1984 yet so I don't know how they compare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandi View Post
    Yeah, I don't get the whole "technology is desensitizing kids" argument. Allegedly, it's supposed to be destroying kids' ability to interacte face-to-face, even making it so they don't smile because they aren't used to actually showing physical emotion. After teaching high school for a semester, they seemed pretty normal to me.
    Really? I would argue that, if anything, they exaggerate emotion. There are a host of girls who giggle or cry perpetually only to attract attention. It irritates me considerably.

    Technology does impact kids negatively. In a way some of what Bradbury writes is true. Maybe it's less apparent in adults, but a lot of the people I know have very short attention spans, and they are painfully trivial. Increasingly they do not care about the world around them. They mock anything they do not understand. Everything from the past can rot; they only care for pop singers, Facebook and video games. Also, they throw words around so casually it's disturbing. Everyone is anorexic. I got a 99.9% and now I'm depressed so I'm going to kill myself. BFFLS! The next day: I hate you, I want to kill you. Or: I love you forever and I'd die for you, I'm going to marry you, even if I have to wait a lifetime I'll do it. One week later – I hate you!!! You ruined my life! You broke my heart, DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!! And then, shortly after: I'm in love again ... It's the most wonderful feeling ever!!!!

    I have an idea most of them don't really know love, hate, depression, suicide, or anything, and are only reenacting drama from an adult TV show.

  11. #41
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Kids were like this when I was at school in the 70s. Of course they said different things as was in fashion or a perceived norm then. Also it's a generalisation. Not all kids are like this. I's just part of development for some. They don't sty like it.

  12. #42
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cl154576 View Post
    IReally? I would argue that, if anything, they exaggerate emotion. There are a host of girls who giggle or cry perpetually only to attract attention. It irritates me considerably.

    Technology does impact kids negatively. In a way some of what Bradbury writes is true. Maybe it's less apparent in adults, but a lot of the people I know have very short attention spans, and they are painfully trivial. Increasingly they do not care about the world around them. They mock anything they do not understand. Everything from the past can rot; they only care for pop singers, Facebook and video games. Also, they throw words around so casually it's disturbing. Everyone is anorexic. I got a 99.9% and now I'm depressed so I'm going to kill myself. BFFLS! The next day: I hate you, I want to kill you. Or: I love you forever and I'd die for you, I'm going to marry you, even if I have to wait a lifetime I'll do it. One week later – I hate you!!! You ruined my life! You broke my heart, DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!! And then, shortly after: I'm in love again ... It's the most wonderful feeling ever!!!!TV show.
    That sounds like pretty normal teenage behavior.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  13. #43
    unreasonable reasoner
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    First let me say that this is my first post. I've just recently started trying to read and re-read a lot of the classics, after having spent the last few years reading fantasy and sc-fi almost exclusively. I figured following the book club was a good way to pick up on some of the things I miss.

    Great book to start with btw. Namely because it is both sci-fi (easy transition), and puts me in the mood to read more literature.

    Personally I found Beatty to be the most interesting character of the story. Very ironic that he's clearly well read for all his anti-literature propaganda.

    My favorite scene was where the ladies talk about the president and how clueless they were to the fact that the election had been rigged.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cl154576 View Post
    I finished this recently and I agree with some of the things Orphan Pip and Paulclem said.

    I thought the ending was weak and overly convenient ... A group of homeless people walking places, warming themselves, observing nature, and somehow restoring art to a degenerated society? It seems a little trite.
    They aren't restoring anything to a degenerated society, though. They're just waiting, keeping the information. If it ended with them suddenly restoring art to the masses, and said masses all suddenly realizing the error of their ways, I would agree, but it doesn't end like that. The future if ambiguous at best. They don't really seem to know how they're going to spread their knowledge or if it has any chance of working. It seemed rather bleak, to me.
    I hope this doesn't sound too stupid, but I thought some of the passages were inserted solely to expound Bradbury's theory, and did not really flow with the text. Others seemed a bit too rushed: for instance, when Clarisse asks Montag if he is happy at the very beginning. There is not enough leading up to it.
    I would argue that, if anything, they exaggerate emotion. There are a host of girls who giggle or cry perpetually only to attract attention. It irritates me considerably.

    Technology does impact kids negatively. In a way some of what Bradbury writes is true. Maybe it's less apparent in adults, but a lot of the people I know have very short attention spans, and they are painfully trivial. Increasingly they do not care about the world around them. They mock anything they do not understand. Everything from the past can rot; they only care for pop singers, Facebook and video games. Also, they throw words around so casually it's disturbing. Everyone is anorexic. I got a 99.9% and now I'm depressed so I'm going to kill myself. BFFLS! The next day: I hate you, I want to kill you. Or: I love you forever and I'd die for you, I'm going to marry you, even if I have to wait a lifetime I'll do it. One week later – I hate you!!! You ruined my life! You broke my heart, DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!! And then, shortly after: I'm in love again ... It's the most wonderful feeling ever!!!!

    I have an idea most of them don't really know love, hate, depression, suicide, or anything, and are only reenacting drama from an adult TV show.
    This is just normal kid behavior, as people have pointed out. They're trying to figure themselves out, as you, undoubtedly, are also. I think you'd be surprised to know how much they do understand, but in their little cliques, it's not socially acceptable to show a true emotional growth. I think most of them use those radical emotional swings (liking a person one week, hating them the next) as a game. Unfortunately, some take it more seriously than others, which causes victims and bullies.

  15. #45
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Has the Fahrenheit 451 discussion burnt itself out?

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