Fahrenheit 451 is a novel by Ray Bradbury which was first published in a shorter form as “The Fireman” (Galaxy Science Fiction, Vol. 1 No. 5, February 1951).  The short novel presents a future American society in which the masses are hedonistic and critical thought through reading is outlawed to protect the elite of a government afraid of an independent-thinking public.  The central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a “fireman” (which, in this nightmarish future, means “bookburner”).  The novel’s title refers to the supposed temperature at which book paper combusts.

Bradbury’s novel, which has sold more than 5 million copies, was the basis for the film of the same name directed by François Truffaut.  This film was released in 1966 and starred Oskar Werner and Julie Christie. 

Dublin Library is pleased to show the film “Fahrenheit 451” as part of  “Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read,” which runs from September 24 to October 1, 2011.  Banned Books Week  is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

“Fahrenheit 451” will be shown on Saturday, September 24th, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the Dublin Library Program  Room.  The film lasts 112 minutes. 

Many people would like to think that book burning is a thing of the past, a relic of totalitarian governments.  How do you feel about people trying to ban or rewrite “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” because of the name given to the escaping slave Jim?  Though you may not like the viewpoints of certain writers or publications, would you favor the library removing or not purchasing works that you disliked?  

You are strongly encouraged to view this film and think about what features of our present-day society seem uncomfortably similar to the society portrayed in this movie and in Ray Bradbury’s novel.