A few prophetic excerpts from the novel:
“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of the other; then all are happy, for there are not mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.The novel also contains this passage:
“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country above all? People want to be happy....
“Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity...Peace... (58-60).
"It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals."[above citations from the edition published by Ballantine Books, New York, 1987]
We are already living in the dystopia portrayed in Bradbury's prophetic novel.
In the late 1950s, Bradbury himself made the following observation about another aspect of the novel, that aspect being the alienation of people by the media:
In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.Have you read Fahrenheit 451? If not — or if you have not recently read it — I invite you to read this short novel, available in all formats: hard copy, Kindle, and audio.
I highly recommend this book — worth your time.
Ray Bradbury, the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream, on the topics of Fahrenheit 451, his favorite books, and life:
Full version of the above video is HERE.
[the Ray Bradbury web site]