Those who don’t build must burn.
This is one of many books I found away around reading in my school days. Only now, when assigned reading for my son, am I getting back to it. There are many themes flowing throughout the work that I believe can speak differently to as many readers there might be.
The story is about a fireman who burns books in a world that wants everyone to be happy. It tells of his journey from being a “fireman” to leaving that life. This simple story, however, has many threads flowing through it:
- Equal does not mean same.
- Those more fortunate will always be at war with those who are not.
- Intellect will survive.
- There will always be that one person.
- Happiness does not come through things.
- Rest does not come through lack of responsibility.
- Different is generally despised.
I did enjoy this read. After the first few pages, I was excited about the book. As it continued, a bit of disappointment set in. Bradbury has a storyline along with the descriptive writing ability to have produced a great work. For some reason, he chose not to take the time to develop his characters and, more importantly, their relationships as the tale goes on. Given the intelligence of his writing, I tend to believe this is intentional and that I am missing something. Perhaps I will read again someday and find yet another and greater theme.