The Temperature At Which Books Burn

4956476726_26b690b952_z  Fahrenheit 451 via RA.AZ on Flickr

In Fahrenheit 451 the firemen do not put out fires, they set fire to books. Books were not allowed. What got me thinking about this story is a new book I am reading by Lisa See, Dreams of Joy. I just started it and do not know how it ends. So if you know, please don’t tell me. It is about a young Chinese American woman who is inspired by the communist revolution in China and decides to run away to China in search of her birth father and to work for the revolution. This is the time of the Red Guards, mobs who tortured and murdered people because they had “wrong” ideas, or somebody decided they didn’t like them. I did not realize that people would want to return to China during those times, but it seems some did. I keep thinking the character, Joy, in Lisa See’s story is so stupid. Maybe I will get to like her better later in the book. Her mother goes to China to find her. I identify with her mother. I can imagine how I would want to find my daughter and bring her home.

In Fahrenheit 451 a group of resisters decides to save books by memorizing them. The people become the books:

“I am Plato’s Republic. Mr. Simmons is Marcus. I want you to meet Jonathan Swift, the author of that evil political book, Gulliver’s Travels! And this other fellow is Charles Darwin, and-this one is Schopenhauer, and this one is Einstein, and this one here at my elbow is Mr. Albert Schweitzer, a very kind philosopher indeed. Here we all are, Montag. Aristophanes and Mahatma Gandhi and Gautama Buddha and Confucius and Thomas Love Peacock and Thomas Jefferson and Mr. Lincoln, if you please. We are also Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

One of people becomes David Copperfield, one of my favorite books:

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show…..”


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “book.” Image of Fahrenheit 451 book cover by RA.AZ on Flickr. Last quote is from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

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10 thoughts on “The Temperature At Which Books Burn

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It’s a great one. It is hard to read about oppression and injustice, though. I do like that there is a positive ending. Reading about “The Cultural Revolution” is hard too and it really happened. It is very tough to think about the dark side of human beings and their cruelty. But we must read about it so that we are prepared to fight against it. Thanks, Dan. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. luckyjc007

    History will repeat itself and the only way to prevent the bad history is to be knowledgeable of it and work towards keeping it from happening again. There are a lot of evil people in this world, but there are a lot of good, and honest people as well. The stronger will prevail.

    Liked by 1 person



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