Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fahrenheit 451: End of a World

According to some sort of mythology, the noble phoenix is a bird of legend. A phoenix is said to die in one life in a massive ball of fire, only to be reborn from the ashes of its former body. Illustrating this idea perfectly is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in which the world ends under the power of nuclear proportions and is forced to be reborn. At the end of Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag happens across a group of wanderers who have been memorizing books in preperation for the apocalyptic end of mankind. They know it will be coming, but the question remains in when. Their answer is given with the arrival of this newcomer, Guy Montag, who brings with him destruction in the form of bombs on the city. These bombs are a last ditch effort to rid the world of the illegal books by the government and the firemen. These bombs not only accomplish the goal of completely annihilating the books, but they also wipe out most of the population of the city. Luckily, there is a small and brave group of poeple, the homeless men and now their new compadre, Montag, who are getting ready to rebuild society in the shape they want. This shape, left for the reader to assume, is most likely one including books as a source of knowledge and joy, since there is some fun left in reading and there are some people who still possess the knowledge of the once written words. This rebirth, of sorts, can easily be compared to the rebirth of the phoenix. From within the deepest, darkest depths of the begotten, there will rise a new form, a form of grace and subtlety to continue the journey of its last counterpart in hopes of better life. The phoenix is supposed to rebirth from its ashes in a new and improved fashion, one that could be in beauty or strength. Just like the bird, the men of the story are to remake everything from the ground up and refurbish something to make it better, possibly, in my opinion, to include books in every home again.

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