Friday, December 12, 2008

Banned Book: Fahrenheit 451

The irony of banning a book about banning books was obviously lost on those who censored this novel.

Fahrenheit 451 is a novel set in the dark future where everyone's movements are watched and regulated. In this dark future...I can barely type this...ALL books are banned(!). The main character's job in the novel is to find books and burn them- no exception. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature that the 'firemen' use to burn the books. Books in this world are perceived as dangerous. (They are, if you're trying to control how people think).

It's one of those really good dystopian novels that doesn't get lost in theorizing.

Apparently, a California middle school distributed copies to their students in which hundreds of words had been blacked out- mostly 'hells' and 'damns'. After considerable public complaint, the school promised not to use the censored copies any longer.

In the book, Christian Bibles are burned, too. This is another reason why the books have been banned, even though this book is clearly and explicitly against the burning of books, censors said that the book "advocates" the burning of Bibles. If you've read the book, you know how ridiculous that is.

At West Marion High School in Foxworthy, Mississippi, the book was challenged for using the word "God damn", although the challenge didn't come about until a month after the assignment was given, when the final report was due.

1 comment:

Amy said...

One of my favorites. Love Bradbury as a writer and loved this book. The first page of the book before the first chapter begins: "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." Right on, Ray. Right on.

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