Fahrenheit 451 Face to Face Book Discussion Details:
- Date: January 19, 2013
- Place: Figaro Coffee – Emerald, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
- Time: 2 PM to 5 PM
- Discussion Leader: Rollie
- Attendees: Me, Alexa, Alona, Bennard (late), Biena, Cary, Ingrid, JL, Louize, Mae, Maria, Po, Tina, Veronica, Wilfred
- Food I Ate: Pasta a la Carlo, iced tea
- Post-discussion Activity: Give a book title with a particular page and line from it that you want to be saved from burning.
I selected Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace because I thought classic tomes like this are mostly likely the first books that will be grabbed by the firemen to burn. The page that I’d like to save contains this quote:
“Love? What is love?” he thought. “Love hinders death. Love is life. Everything, everything I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is connected only by that. Love is God, and to die–means that I, a part of love, return to the common and eternal source.” These thoughts seemed comforting to him. But they were only thoughts. Something was lacking in them, there was something one-sidedly personal, cerebral–there was no evidence. And there was the same uneasiness and vagueness. He fell asleep.
- After the Book Discussion: Hanged out at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, ate dinner at Burger King, watched Les Miserables at Robinsons Movieworld
- Other Nominated Books: Dune by Frank Herbert, Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Thoughts from the Members:
And then it hit me… yes, that’s what Bradbury wanted me to do… that one very thing his modern age world did not… to think, to live life with a meaning, to drift away from spoon fed information, and to continue reading.
Personally, I think it’s somewhere between “it was ok” and “I like it”. But since the subject of this novel is something close to my heart, it deserves a 3-star rating anyway.
This book raises a lot of relevant issues for our present day, including the dwindling relevance of literature, the increasing taboo against solitude and intellectual discussion and reflection, and technology’s ubiquitous presence in our lives. I just wished that the discussion between Montag and Faber and Montag and the outcast professors were lengthened. A good read.
We must read, think and apply what you think is right in life. Conflict is the beginning of growth. Thus, we should not be afraid to fail and make mistakes. It is a story I would recommend everyone to read.
I can’t say if Bradbury was wrong with his conception decades ago, when he wrote this. Or maybe he was right; if he had not written this and people have not read it, we may have had a bad turnout. What I can say is that I grew up with both TV and books, so is my daughter, but our brains didn’t turn mushy. (I think!) The key, probably, resides in rearing children responsibly–exposing them equally to TV and books, teaching them which should be adopted from them, and which ones should be discarded.
For such a short read, Fahrenheit 451 was packed with a lot of punch. Never mind that I fear the world they are in, without books?!! But the spot-on not-so-impossible future crated by Bradbury was quite impressive. Well, he did write this fifty years ago! He has some inventive imagination going back then, and I applaud him for that.
Not that it lacked substance or depth. Not that it lacked in character development. The book definitely had those. Mainly, my problem with it was that it failed to grip me in a way that I expected it would. Sure, there’s the thrill element from the Mechanical Hound, the futuristic community presented by the dystopian setting, the change of heart. But despite all those, I found that the book’s appeal was fleeting, hinged solely on the idea that oh no, they’re burning books! but when it comes down to it, the story failed to follow through.
Fahrenheit 451 reminds us of a truth which most passionate readers often forget. It is what is written in the books themselves which truly matter. The ideas and not the ink and paper. A bit of a hard pill to swallow for people like me who just can’t resist smelling/caressing/snuggling with a good book. It’s not too farfetched for me to imagine being like that woman who got herself burned down into ashes along with her books. Quite disturbing I’d even consider that, I know.
Pero para sa akin, sunugin man o ipagbawal ang pagbabasa ng aklat ang mahalaga ay itanim mo ito sa iyong puso at isipan, bigyang kahulugan, at ibuhay kung ano man ang mensahe nito sa iyo.
My write-up here.
Photos courtesy of Louize.