So I had never read this book before. Sure, I’d heard of it… I knew what it was about. But I had never picked up the slim volume and actually read it. I was surprised at how I reacted physically to the words.
As I’m sure you know, this classic book tells the story of Guy Montag, a fire man in the future who’s job requires him to burn books and the houses in which they are found. Culture has evolved to a point where free thinking, questioning, and imagination has been deemed dangerous and a crime against society.
Have you ever considered your expression as you are reading? I always recognize when I am smiling or especially laughing at funny scenes in books, and also when I cry at the sad ones. But I think through nearly all of this book, my jaw was clenched up so tight that I actually gave myself a headache. My teeth are sore right now. I don’t ever recall reacting in this way to a book before.
This book tells such an important story…. what happens if political correctness goes too far? This summer, a town councilman had entered a bill into the books and it was set to go to a vote. He pulled it back before the vote went through – thank goodness – because I was shocked at the whole premise of the thing. The bill was to outlaw ice cream truck music in our town. Granted, it is about the most annoying sound in the world – but what kid doesn’t hear it and get excited? Who doesn’t have that memory from their childhood? I guess the Councilman’s neighbor’s child is autistic and the sound was very irritable to him. While I of course feel bad for the child, I really didn’t feel like banning it from everyone was really the right thing to do. So I was glad it never it went to vote. OK, enough with the small town politics – but I hope you can appreciate how I feel it relates to the book.
by Ray Bradbury
Del Rey, 1953