Posted by: Naomi | March 20, 2011

Fahrenheit 451

One of the most fascinating and eerie books I have ever read is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I grew up associating the author merely with science fiction writing, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover this little tome. Although it has aspects of the fantastic, this is a stark and realistic portrayal of a world where people aren’t allowed to think for themselves. A world where day and night, an incessant stream of TV, music and radio are pumped into the human consciousness at deafening volume. A world where reading books is a crime. Guy Montag, the protagonist is a fireman, whose responsibility is to start fires, particularly of homes that are reported to contain books. The written world was outlawed because it caused people to think too much for themselves. It caused them to dream and to imagine; to contemplate that which is not real, and to engage in reckless self-expression. Over the course of the story, Guy chafes at the so-called ‘normalcy’ of this society, and has been slowly hoarding books, trying to find what is so fascinating about them that people risk prosecution and death just to have them. The most striking part of the story comes almost at the end, when Guy meets a group of men in the woods, men who are in self-imposed exile from this rigid and ridiculous society. Each of the men has at least one entire book memorized, trying to preserve the classic works until the ban on the written word is lifted, and they can write down the words again for all to see. The library is quite diverse, including Scripture, Darwin, Marcus Aurelius, Faulkner…on and on. This book made me want to treasure the ability to think and read that our society affords us, and it also made me want to read everything. I think a very small and nicely stylized ‘451‘ would be a good tattoo, and a great reminder to read and think and discover, while I still can.

(On outside right wrist) I love this tattoo, it serves as a reminder to me that I am privileged to be able to read, and to write;  to express my own thoughts, and explore the thoughts and ideas of others.



  1. What font did you use for this? I love it!

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