Books and Movies Reviews

It Was a Pleasure to Burn

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s classic vision of the future, firemen don’t put out fires–they start them in order to burn books.Bradbury’s vividly painted society displays the appearance of happiness as the main goal.It is a place where trivial information is admired and true knowledge and ideas are banned.
Guy Montag is a fireman who has always been happy and fulfilled in his job.He’s never questioned the purpose of book burning.He only knows what he’s been told – books are bad because they cause unhappiness.He enjoys the thrill of setting a fire and the beauty of the flames.
His wife spends all day plugged into seashell earpieces or watching her television “family.”At night, she takes sleeping pills.Unfortunately, she is not alone.All their friends do the same thing.They don’t engage in conversations, they parrot what they hear on TV programs, and they have no thoughts of their own.They are only vaguely aware that the country is at war.The government doesn’t want to distress the citizens, so it doesn’t broadcast anything unpleasant.Montag’s boss, Chief Beatty, sums up the sentiment of the society saying, “Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs.Don’t give them slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with.That way lies melancholy.”The people of Montag’s world live under that principle, though they don’t know it, and believe ignorance is bliss.The ban on books began when books were deemed offensive; being censored until eventually the intolerance of differing voices leads to the ban of all books.This results in a lack of any voices at all, only a vacuous society.
Montag;s dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books, and more interested in what she can see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the seashells and walls.She is…


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