Sunday, January 8, 2012
In this thought-provoking book, there's a part where Guy, the main character, is addressing his wife. He says, "Let you alone!? That's all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?"
Good question. It's good to be content, but a discontent with things that are wrong will spur on greater action. It's the opposite of remaining indifferent. That's the kind of discontent Guy was referring to. It makes you stop and think. It can make you angry with injustice. It may produce courage. When was the last time we were really bothered?
Fahrenheit 451 portrays a world where nobody questions anything. They sit idle and go with the flow. Everything is upside down, and nobody remembers the goodness of the past. Without as much as a blink, the characters blindly embrace whatever erroneous notions are handed to them.
Guy Montag was not an exception, until, one day, he met a young girl who shattered all he thought he knew. "Are you happy?" she innocently asked. This particular question deeply shook him. Turning another building into a pile of ash felt less disturbing than to answer that.
Triggering a multitude of other inquiries on his part, this question seemed to reveal the tunnel that would lead to clarity.
Yeah, you all should read this. Sadly, it reminds me of a world I know.