It turns out Fahrenheit 451 is the 7th most checked out book from the New York Public Library. I found this tad bit of information out last weekend while I was there.
And this wall, at the entrance of the Rose Main Reading Room, shown a familiar resemblance. The juxtaposed fire hose and rows of volumes stood as living renditions of what Bradbury would call Fahrenheit 451.
Tourists, in attempts to capture the murals above, overlooked this quiet representation. It was seen yet not seen, noticed yet ignored, yet it held presence.
“Montag hesitated. ‘Was — was it always like this? The firehouse, our work? I mean, well, once upon a time…didn’t firemen prevent fires rather than stoke them up and get them going?'”
I’m in the midst of reading Fahrenheit 451, one of the books I picked up at the farmers market a week or so ago, and it has been making quite the impression on me.
This past weekend, I forgot my drawing pen and misplaced my headphones for my trip to NYC, so I decided to improvise — I would read in times I would usually rely on these two. That meant a lot of reading on the train.
Within the novel, I’m currently where Montag is on his way back home after having reunited with Faber. Faber has just given Montag a Seashell Radio in order to give him advice and help navigate Montag through upcoming challenges.
Walking home, Montag expresses:
“Faber?…I’m not thinking. I’m just doing like I’m told, like always. You said get the money and I got it. I didn’t really think of it myself. When do I start working things out on my own?”
“You’ve started already, by saying what you just said. You’ll have to take me on faith.”
“I don’t want to change sides and just be told what to do. There’s no reason to change if I do that.”
Montag’s words to Faber reminded me of my own from two years ago when I first moved to Boston:
“Trusting that I’m in good hands and that he’ll (God) bring me back to life — but I want a new one. Don’t want to return to the old. That would disprove my point.”
The “point” I was referring to was that of autonomy. Now, with being away from home and all things familiar, I wanted to get to a mental space where I knew who I was and what I stood for.
I wanted to make sure all this change was not in vain. To end up in place similar to the one was attempting to leave felt pointless. All Montag and I had left was our dependence on our sovereign source and to keep walking.