The Lake Park Perspective

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The Lake Park Perspective

The Lake Park Perspective

Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 manages to still ring true

Imagine a world where books are illegal, and the job of “firemen” is to burn them. This is the premise of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Despite being written in the 1950s, the book remains relevant today, with its themes of censorship and technology’s impact on individuals and society.
First of all, book banning has occurred throughout history. Although the world of Fahrenheit 451 has taken it to extreme measures, it still is somewhat similar to the real-world’s issue.
In the novel, as in many countries, the problem begins when various groups of people become upset by books.
For a historical example of somewhat similar events, (before the 1950s), under the Nazi regime, actual book burnings happened. In communist countries, authors could be sentenced to prison camps or even killed for writing anything considered to be anti-communist. Going back to Nazi Germany, those disliked by their leading party faced punishments like those in communist countries.
While neither government banned all books, their actions remain extreme and unnecessary.
The problem continues today, although it has become less extreme. Still, books can become disallowed in schools or libraries, even in the United States, raising questions about how much free speech our Constitution grants us.
Also, another major theme in the book is how technology impacts people. Fahrenheit 451’s protagonist’s wife is shown to be obsessed with television.
The scenes of her staring at a television screen or even how frequently she thinks about it are relatable to anyone who has family members with an addiction to their electronic devices.
Unlike books, technology was allowed to develop in the novel’s world and continues to be widely in use, as it does not upset the population. Similarly to the characters of Fahrenheit 451, more people are continuing to find a distraction from their lives through electronics, even if their liking for it becomes unhealthy.
When I was younger, no one I knew had a phone.
Then, in middle school, my friend and I became the only students in our class to not own one, but there was still not a problem regarding the devices’ usage.
Finally, when I began attending Lake Park, I was forced to have a phone, since my teacher required me to take pictures of my assignments. I noticed that students would use their phones in classes. Although a rule has been introduced regarding phone usage, I still see others are not following it.
My experiences seem to show that over the years, more people are getting electronics, and it causes a larger amount of our school and world population to become addicted to them.
Although the novel was written in the 1950s, Ray Bradbury still managed to predict future events, or maybe he was assuming how we would act based on how those in his own society were.
I would like to conclude this review by giving Fahrenheit 451 five out of five stars.
In fact, the invention of the Internet and owning various electronics becoming more normalized has only made it more relevant, along with the constant debates concerning book banning.

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About the Contributor
Emilka Makuch, Staff Writer
LP '26
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