Saturday, February 1, 2014

F451

I finished reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. As I read, I kept a folded up piece of paper as a bookmark on which I wrote down vocabulary words to look up and page numbers of passages that I found interesting and enjoyable because of their writing quality or because they spoke to me in some way. Here they are, with the hope you find value within them too. I don't believe in coincidences, including the timing of this book appearing in my life. A book of seemingly endless fire and burning, for me it was a mirror of personal transformation. Its spirit has become a part of me now.


***


He stared at the parlor that was dead and gray as the waters of an ocean that might teem with life if they switched on the electronic sun.


She was beginning to shriek now, sitting there like a wax doll melting in its own heat.


Once as a child he had sat upon a yellow dune by the sea in the middle of the blue and hot summer day, trying to fill a sieve with sand, because some cruel cousin had said, "Fill this sieve and you'll get a dime!" And the faster he poured, the faster it sifted through with a hot whispering. His hands were tired, the sand was boiling, the sieve was empty. Seated there in the midst of July, without a sound he felt the tears move down his cheeks.


He could feel the Hound, like autumn, come cold and dry and swift, like a wind that didn't stir grass, that didn't jar windows or disturb leaf shadows on the white sidewalks as it passed. The Hound did not touch the world. It carried its silence with it, so you could feel the silence building up a pressure behind you all across town.


This was all he wanted now. Some sign that the immense world would accept him and give him the long time he needed to think all the things that must be thought.


There was a silence gathered all about that fire and the silence was in the men's faces, and time was there, time enough to sit by this rusting track under the trees, and look at the world and turn it over with the eyes, as if it were held to the center of the bonfire, a piece of steel these men were all shaping. It was not only the fire that was different. It was the silence. Montag moved toward this special silence that was concerned with all the world.


He saw the moon low in the sky now. The moon there, and the light of the moon caused by what? By the sun, of course. And what lights the sun? Its own fire. And the sun goes on, day after day, burning and burning. The sun and time. The sun and time and burning. Burning. The river bobbled him along gently. Burning. The sun and every clock on the earth. It all came together and became a single thing in his mind. After a long time of floating on the land and a short time of floating in the river he knew why he must never burn again in his life.