Fahrenheit 451

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Political Revolution and The Act of Reading

Fahrenheit 451 focuses on the burning of books. In this fictional world, the owners of books and their homes are burnt and book ownership is seen as the root of unhappiness within society. During the period of the Enlightenment, books were a driver of change as new works like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense shaped ideas like liberty for the American public and led to American independence. More people read than did anything else during this period of change and political foundation for Western democracy. How is the act of reading linked to revolution in books like Fahrenheit 451 and what does this tell us about the importance of reading for the modern era?

  • It's not just reading, of course; it's sharing of information. Books are a great way to do that, especially when prying eyes might be listening and subtlety is key. During times of famous revolutions in history, the Internet wasn't a thing; when Fahrenheit 451 was written, the Internet wasn't a thing. Today, in countries where tyrannical governments keep firm control of their citizens, the Internet is restricted just as much as books were in Fahrenheit 451. In countries where the Internet is mostly un-regulated, everyone is making their best effort to sway public opinion in every direction - it may not lead to all-out revolution, but I'm sure one could make an argument for the influence this freedom of information sharing has had on major political events in the past 20 years or so. – noahspud 6 months ago
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Taken by Lydia Gore-Jones (PM) 2 months ago.