Dr. Sally Emmons
19 November, 2013
The Fiery Future
“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
− John M. Richardson, Jr.
This quote is something one can see throughout Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. There are multiple characters that fit these descriptions but three main characters that fit it perfectly. Beatty the fire house captain lets it happen, Montag makes it happen, and Mildred wonders what happened. It is really sad to think that some people just leave their future to chance rather than making a future that is better and leaving a path for future generations. Without a past one cannot hope for a future, the past allows one to learn and grow and make a future that is livable. If one does not learn from the past the same mistakes are likely to be made in the future, leading down a path of possible destruction. The twenty-first century is supposed to be the greatest century ever; however like the novel Fahrenheit 451 people are sacrificing knowledge and intellectual thought for an easier, simpler, thoughtless lifestyle.
Alliteracy and Illiteracy is something that is passed down through generations, inevitably sacrificing the knowledge to be able to read for an entire family. Fifty-nine percent of people from a survey done by NDP group in 1991 stated that they read less than ten books the previous year (Weeks 522). America has prided itself on being a literate first world country, whereas, it has been building an environment where reading is not required. With the technology in the world today children and teens spend most of their time playing video games, watching TV, or using social networking sites rather than reading a book. Then the parents allow the children to watch movies or play the video game before bed instead of reading them a story. There was a time when writers were celebrated for their works, but now people chose to celebrate actors, singers, and athletes instead. Acting, singing, and athletics are also very important to society but they are no cause to push out writing and reading. Weeks explains a lecture given by Kylene Beers. This lecture explains the two types of reading, efferent which is purposeful reading, and aesthetic which is for the joy of it. In order to be a good reader Beers believes people have to be able to visualize the text they are reading (Weeks 525). One of the reasons there are books and movies is to allow the audience to escape to a world that is unlike this, travel back in time, and to be the hero of the story. The only difference between movies and books is that books allow the person to feel as if they are one of the characters in the story, and that is something movies are unable to portray. If one spends all of their time skimming through books during school and then never even looking at it outside of school, then they are less likely to read to their children or teach their children how to read, sacrificing that knowledge not only for themselves but for their children.
When most people think of an illiterate person they do not believe their illiteracy can cause them to suffer both mentally and physically. One thing nobody can deny is that the number of illiterate citizens in the America is on the rise. Illiterates are often lost in this nation of fast paced economics and rapidly changing technology. Illiterates are unable to do some of what seems to be the most simplistic of tasks to a literate person. For example most illiterates are unable to read newspaper article, words on the TV, voting ballots, menus in a restaurant, or their child’s report card. Those kinds of things can upset the individual emotionally but they do not cause any real suffering. The biggest concern when it comes to illiterates is when they are unable to read prescription instructions or warning labels, this can cause some serious harm to them if they overdose or ingest…