Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fahrenheit 451 (I am Still Alive)

I am Still Alive

Before I start off on this book review, I owe it to you to explain why I have inexplicably been absent from the blog world.

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Quite simply, I've been a bit trampled by various goings-on recently.

One activity that has been taking up a lot of my time that I usually use for writing (mon livre has been suffering from my lack of time as well, not just this blog) is running.  I've historically hated running, and even though I played soccer and currently play tennis, the whole running thing was simply a necessary evil in my mind.  But recently I've been learning to enjoy it, and have gotten on a reasonable schedule with it.  It's going super well, and I'm on track to run a 5k by the end of the month (and my birthday!!).

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Also, the more I run, the less I eat bad foods too because then I know I'm just going to have to work hard to get rid of the fat, and I don't want to take two steps backward, so all in all the whole running thing has helped my health greatly.  But it has also taken up a lot of time.

The other huge, ginormous, major thing happening is that my nephew was born!!  He is the cutest little thing!  His name is Micah, and he is doing well and so is my sister-in-law.  My brother's family is super busy with three little boys though!  My mom went to go watch the other two boys for the weekend, so I've been running the house (also very time consuming).  I kind of like it--makes me feel like an adult.

Homework has been steadily increasing as the year has been going on, and even though I am really efficient and normally finish before the end of the school day, I am now accepting the fact that taking advanced classes in high school is going to involve a bit of extra work.  So there's that.

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Oh, and my school has a musical theater type performance thing with lots of popular songs, both old and new that involves lots of dancing and singing which I am going to audition for late February.  I've been working on those skills, and learning my audition song on the piano.  I want to accompany myself for the audition, so I've been working hard on that.

And violin of course takes up lots of time, especially since my vibrato training is getting more important and I have to practice even more of that.

Okay, okay, I haven't been using all my time super productively.  There's this little show, The Office (maybe you've heard of it... ;) that has been mysteriously sucking up the hours of the day.  But it is so hilarious!!!

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I started keeping a fairly consistent journal that has lots of my thoughts and some melodies I wrote in it.  It's actually pretty full for only keeping it for a month, and I try to be consistent with it.  But it also takes time.

So anyway, things have been piling up and I'm sorry I haven't been blogging as much.  But I am back!  And I want to discuss a really great short read I recently finished, Fahrenheit 451.

Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451 is a short novel by Ray Bradbury that takes place in a dystopian universe where "firemen" burn books and houses containing books rather than try to put fires out.  The main character is Montag, a fireman who meets a girl named Clarisse.  Slowly, Montag realizes that things are not quite right in the society he lives in and begins stealing books and reading them.

The first positive about this book is that if you look at the cover long enough, you will eventually be able to spell Fahrenheit correctly.  I would not be able to if it wasn't for this book.  True story.

This book was kind of ahead of its time with the whole dystopian genre and corrupt government motif.  Ray Bradbury apparently was concerned about the growing trend of spending more time watching TV than reading and putting the mind to good use.

Even though he wrote this awhile ago, I still find some of the ideas pretty chilling.

Montag's wife, Mildred, spends more time watching her "digital family" on the three-walled television in their house than she does interacting with her actual husband.  Are there days when we sometimes spend more time on YouTube or Netflix (or blogging!?!?!) than time with our family and friends?

Montag is a very complex character, who--unlike in some half-baked dystopian novels today--actually takes time to change his view, and accepts the implications of an entirely different world than the one he thought he lived in.  It has always bothered me that sometimes in dystopian novels the main character accepts to quickly that the whole way of life they have known before isn't as good as they thought.

I thought the burning of the books was also a pretty interesting concept, and it reminds me of all the civilizations that burned books or banned them.  In a society where speech is sometimes suppressed and knowledge isn't actively sought out, this seems like a reality all too real (wow, the syntax of that sentence though).

I really recommend this book.  It's a very quick read, and it introduces readers to an elaborate and relatable world with deep and dimensional characters.  Let me know what you think of it!

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