Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What are you reading, Cecilia Nava?

"I feel alive for the first time in years," said Faber. "I feel I'm doing what I should've done a lifetime ago. For a little while I'm not afraid. Maybe it's because I'm doing the right thing at last."

I must say this is one of several favorite quotes from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Although the novel was an assigned reading for my Contemporary Novels on Film class, I still found beauty intricately woven in its words. Several students in my class had already read it in high school, but I had the privilege to immerse myself into it for the first time.

Fahrenheit 451 covers the story of Montag, a firefighter living in the distant future. In this odd and dystopian world, firefighters ironically cause fires and burn books. This society, with it being distorted and manipulative, abhors books and believes they are a threat. Montag eventually meets seventeen year old Clarisse, an innocent dreamer on the constant quiet lookout for life's meaning. She is one who pays particular attention to detail and leads readers to stop and analyze their own lives. A quote by Georgia O'Keeffe summarizes Clarisse explicitly well: "When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else." Clarisse's curious personality helps Montag realize the horror of his society, one he must overcome to find a purpose he has been searching for.

Bradbury does a marvelous job with describing and depicting Montag's experience. He uses rich, select diction that is full of life. It amazes me how the novel still relates to today's society despite it being almost 62 years old. I truly enjoyed how Bradbury incorporated Christian themes of trust in God, persistence, and faith. The novel serves as a reminder of God's love and Jesus' impact in our world and writing. Although it is completely separate from the Bible, the novel shines Jesus' teachings. I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, but I can say that it impacted my thinking and reminded me of what is ultimately important.

Fahrenheit 451 is now one of my favorites along with F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially those who want to remember literature's beauty. Next on my "leisure" reading list is probably The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, or Jurassic Park by Michael Chrichton. I hope of these two novels is found in my hands during the summer.

Cecilia Nava is a freshmen from Fontana, Ca. Her major is Communications and hopes to get into journalism. She is also the Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Hope International Tribune, and is also a Talk Time Facilitator. Some of her hobbies include photography, reading, and analyzing literature. 

Fahrenheit 451 by Rad Bradbury, Del Rey, 2004.

This book can be purchased from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Better World Books.

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