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“Animal Farm” and “Fahrenheit 451”

Saturday, November 27, 2010 - Book Reading

Animal Farm

This book, while technically assigned to me in high school, was read without the ongoing class discussions.  I transferred into the class the day before the last test and the teacher asked if I had read the book.  I told her that I had read it on my own, but not with a class.  She gave me the option of taking the test or doing a separate written and oral book report.  I’m horrible with public speaking and can’t stand being the center of attention, so I chose to take the test.

I reread the book that night and felt that I had a pretty decent grasp on the story and meaning.  I made the highest possible C…  Luckily, the rest of my grades in that class more than made up for it.

However, this book, written by George Orwell, has always been a book that I loved.  The entire story can pretty much be summed up (in my mind, anyway) by this simple evolution:

The Seven Commandments:

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal.

These admirable commandments are eventually morphed into:

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL

BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

Food for thought: Does this bring to mind the current government’s way of thinking?

Fahrenheit 451

I was never actually assigned to read this book, but it was assigned reading at my school.  I’m not sure how my class didn’t get this assignment, but I read it while helping some of my friends with their assignments regarding the book.

Written by Ray Bradbury, the title comes from the temperature at which paper burns.

This book was actually hard for me to read.  I’m insanely protective of my books, both physical and digital.  Just the thought of someone burning (or otherwise damaging) one is painful for me.

Each time I read, different things stick out to me.  Most recently, it was this quote:

“School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored.”

It seems that we’re already reaching this stage.  I, for one, don’t want to live in the future shown in this book.  Not at all.  Even if the only thing that happens in the next hundred years is the single sentence above.

Already the discipline is being relaxed both by parents and schools/government.  “Oh, you broke the rule/law.  That’s okay, you’re ADD/illegal immigrant.  You get a free pass!”

I can’t name a single child that I’m not related to (although even some of those fall short) that speaks proper English without being fussed at and can spell the majority of simple words without problems.  I’m not talking about a few small things like using a preposition at the end of a sentence or misspelling “opossum” with it’s silent “O” at the beginning.  I’m talking about a total lack of disregard for speaking and spelling correctly.

Umm…  My book review turned into a rant.  I’m sorry.  This book gets me riled up.  :-)

Quick note: Scheduled and rushed review.

Occasionally Important Information:

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
"The Islands of the Blessed" by Nancy Farmer

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