8 – Fahrenheit 451 #1 w/ Nova

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Today, we’re diving into modernism with Fahrenheit 451! Honestly, I have a lot of opinions about this book, so I hope you all will enjoy this discussion as much as I enjoyed having it. Honestly, I do not understand the system of government in this book or how they function as a society, so this should be a lot of fun.

If you what to find me anywhere, you can see all my socials at barelybookish.com/connect and you can use this link to join the Discord servers!

If you want to find Nova, check her out at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/novasaurusrexx/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NovasaurusRexx

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpAJApXIp8SR0AxZI1oSH8A

She also has a gaming channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpgB1gMDmRgJdaRfX9VdaTQ 

Summary from Simon & Schuster

Sixty years after its originally publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.”


Rachel: Hey hi hello, everyone and welcome back to Barely Bookish. This week we are reading Fahrenheit 451 and this is your very first episode of Barely Bookish, welcome, hello, nice to see you. I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’re having a good day, but I do want to let you know that these are all spoiler inclusive, so be sure to, if you don’t want spoilers, read the book first. This section of Fahrenheit 451 does discuss the entire book, so please be sure if you don’t want spoilers to read the entire thing. Because I, we make a lot of reference to the entire series, not the entire series, sorry the entire book. So please just make sure if you do want to avoid spoilers that you do read the entire book first, because I don’t want anybody to get spoilers if they don’t want them. So yeah, stop here, read the book and then come back. And you can talk about it with us. I mean, listen to us, talk about it, you can. You can like Instagram message or you know, comment on my photos on Instagram or something and talk about it with me. I’m ready to talk about it. It’ll be great. It’ll be a lot of fun. But yeah, this was actually my very first episode that I ever recorded, so if I do mention that I did record this before pride and Prejudice, so just keep that in mind everyone. We just ended up airing Pride and Prejudice first, um, I just, it just kind of worked out that way. But yeah, so that’s all the super notes that I have for the beginning of this, but I do want to mention that if you are interested in joining a book club online, we do host one. Right now we’re on a brief hiatus, but we will be starting up again reading the first week of December. So right now we’re suggesting books and it’s a great time to join. We also started a Discord server where we talk about books like not reading them together, but like if you have a book series that you’re passionate about and you really want to talk to other book nerds about it. Please join, that link is also in the show notes under Discord not sorry, sorry wow, under barelybookish.com/connect and it says Book Lovers Discord or something like that. It’s there, so please feel free to join us. It’s a lot of fun right now we’re talking about From Blood and Ash. If you haven’t read that yet, please do yourself the favor. Read it. Jennifer L. Armentrout writes so well. But yeah anyways. That’s all I have for you and I will catch you guys in the episode.

(Intro Music)

Rachel: Hey hi hello everyone. This week we are reading Fahrenheit 451 and I am joined today by a lovely guest named Nova.

Nova: Hi. 

Rachel: So today we’re going through Fahrenheit 451 and I’ll just jump right into it. So we open on Montag, and he’s super into burning things. And obviously this note was taken while I was actually reading through the book, not after. And the only note I had about that moment was “Wow he is super into burning things for being a firefighter. I’m kind of shook about it.” We’ll later find out that that’s the whole point. They don’t fight fires. So you know, that’s they’re actually called firemen, and that’s exactly what they are. They start the fires.

Nova: Right. 

Rachel: So that kind of shook me. There’s Montag is also feeling this insane pressure. Sorry, this presence, and we find out that it’s a girl named Claire-Clarisse. And immediately as soon as she was introduced, I was like I don’t trust her. She said she’s 17 and insane and I was like okay buddy, like I don’t know what this is about. I don’t trust you. I was like afterwards I was doing research and people are like “oh I loved her and she seems so relatable.” And the moment I met her I was like Nope, I don’t know what it is. I just don’t trust her at all.

Nova: It was kind of weird. I wonder if like part of it was like the, because she’s not supposed to be out there and he was kind of like “what are you doing?”

Rachel: Yeah. 

Nova: Because we kind of see it from him that like that’s his feeling too. Cause as it went on I was like OK, she’s cool. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: As it went along but like so maybe that’s just like we’re getting it through him as he’s like “what is this girl doing? Who is this child?”

Rachel: That’s very possible. I know cause I was like as soon as she was introduced I was like huh? But then I like it’s initially like came and became more of a character. I was like okay maybe she’s not awful, but like the second I saw I was like trap trap.

Nova: Yeah she was, yeah. She was interesting.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: And how she was like oh you guys used to put out fires and he’s like, no.  No we didn’t.

Rachel: He’s like, no way, not a thing.  That’s never happened. 

Nova: Houses are fireproof. 

Rachel: They’ve always been fireproof like um. And then he was like, Guy’s way to his job, into his job for comfort like I’ve never met someone that was so into their career. I was like uhhh. Like he was all about being a firefighter. And then we found out that he also has a wife. And it was just it’s weird to me how they little they talked about her. It was just kind of like, AH, wife, you know?

Nova: Yeah, she’s like this background like, she’s just there. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: And it’s like, hello?

Rachel: Yeah she doesn’t have like any substance to me like I just I don’t know she’s just so flat and I guess she’s intended to be that way as like a product of the culture but like I was kind of surprised how flat she actually was.

Nova: Yeah, she was very like as you went on as well. She was very this is how things are. Why are you doing things differently? Like we have this family which I think is the TV. But like-

Rachel: Yeah, yeah.

Nova:  I wasn’t 100% sure I was like this is kind of interesting.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: She’s like very into that.

Rachel: Yeah. I think it’s also interesting when you look at like the time period this is written. It was like written just as people were getting TV’s in their house. So I guess Ray Bradbury was kind of like making fun of people who are like relating to the characters on TV from my like precursory understanding of like what he was trying to do. But I thought that was, oh I, I couldn’t understand what’s happening and so like I kind of took a step back and I was like oh this is just chatter in the walls. It’s not even like an actual show there’s no substance.

Nova: Yeah, it was like what the heck?

Rachel: Yeah, so then we find out the Guy has never actually read any of the books he burns and that made me incredibly sad. And I guess this is like the entire premise of the book, but I as soon as I found that out, like I didn’t know anything about this book going into it. Like no one had spoiled anything for me except one guy at the bookstore. As soon as I purchased he goes “Oh, I love that book. Do you know that’s the reason for Copyright laws?” And I was like what?

Nova: That’s interesting.

Rachel: Yeah, and I found no proof for that at all. But I was like that he tried to like start giving me spoilers. I’m like woah woah woah woah like I have not read this book yet that is why I’m purchasing it. Please don’t give me spoilers like I get that it’s a classic book, but like I still haven’t read it yet.

Nova: Yeah, not everyone’s read every classic out there so.

Rachel: Literally. Yeah.

Nova: All I heard was everyone was like, oh, I love this book and it’s about a guy who burns books, so like I was like, okay, interesting.

Rachel: Yeah, I did get a little spoiler from Twitter or not Twitter Tumblr when I was like, like fifteen when they had that, I don’t know if you were on Tumblr how into Tumblr you were but they had like this whole thing about the Fahrenheit 451 and it was like a minimalist cover with like a lighter, Oh my gosh, what do you call that? A matchstick next to it and the line of the, the binding of the book was how you strike the match. And someone goes who would light a book on fire, and they’re like obviously haven’t read Fahrenheit 451, and that’s all I know.

Nova: Yeah yeah yeah, I did see that like at first I was like huh? That’s no, I, and then you said like you strike it I was like, yes I’ve seen that and I was like what the heck? And then I read like that obviously you’ve never read it and so I looked it up and I was like, makes sense, Guy burns books.

Rachel: I, I just remembered I have never looked it up. I just remember that and I was like one day I’ll read it. And then many years went by and now we’re here.

Nova: Yeah, basically. That’s how it goes.

Rachel: Okay Guy is not super happy with his life and I was just like big yikes cause he seemed to be super into his job and then he kind of like, the more he talks to Clarisse the more you kind of realize that he’s not really into what he’s doing. He doesn’t really have anything that like fulfills him. And you kind of, as this book progresses, see that that is a characteristic of most of the people in the world, in that world is that they don’t really have anything that live, for they don’t have anything going for them, and they kind of just feel like they don’t have substance anymore, you know.

Nova: Yeah, they’re kinda just there, like oh everyone does this, so we’ll just keep doing it. Oh everyone, watch is this television, keep doing it. Oh we gotta we gotta burn the books we’ll do it. Yeah it kind of, as you went on, you started to notice how the characters would do that, they were like this is how things go, gotta do it this way even though it whatever.

Rachel: Yeah, and then okay, this is the part that shook me to my core and it’s just because I did not really realize the time period that this is written in. When I was reading it for the first time, so Guy and his wife sleep in separate beds and I was like I forgot that that was an actual thing that like adults, did you know, like in the 50s?

Nova: Oh yeah, yeah yeah, it’s, it’s I guess I didn’t think of it ’cause I just recently watched a movie where that’s, It was from like the 50s and they went to bed in separate beds. So like I just kind of was like oh yeah, that’s a thing. And then I read this so like it didn’t click, but like I totally get that cause I always forget that that’s what they used to do.

Rachel: I know.

Nova: They don’t share a bed so it’s like wait, why do you have two beds in your bedroom?

Rachel: I know, I listen-I watched Pleasantville like probably a year ago and that was the first time I came to terms with that. I thought that was just like a thing that happened on TV. I didn’t realize it was like an actual thing that people slept in separate beds until like a little while after that, and I asked my dad cause I was like, uh, what like, I just never even considered it. You know? I just thought it was like what is it like those you remember? I don’t know. I remember there being like all these like laws that came out about like X rated TV, like PG13 and there was like certain things you couldn’t show on TV. And I thought that that was a part of it was just like having them sleep in separate beds. I didn’t realize like people actually went home and bought like twin size beds for them like in their husband, yeah?

Nova: Yeah, that that makes sense. Like now that you say that like that would make sense if they like the Copyright of like, not the Copyright, but the like PG13 kind of law is so you-

Rachel: That’s just what I assumed.

Nova: can’t show this like yeah that makes absolute sense actually now that you say that.

Rachel: Yeah, that’s what I guessed and then I, you know, actually found out that some people did it and I was like, huh, okay. 

Nova: Interesting.

Rachel: So I was that, that really dated this novel for me, among other things, but I was that’s probably the one thing when I read it and I actually stopped and I was like, when was this written? But yeah, when Guy does not realize how him and his wife met. I was just like they’re getting divorced. That’s just the one thing that’s going to happen because he, him and his wife, neither of them could remember how they met, where they met, when they started dating, and both of them were okay with that. Like, I guess, yeah, I was questioning it, but like his wife was, just like, you know, we’ve been together awhile, yeah, expect you to remember everything.

Nova: Yeah. It’s like huh, what happen? It’s like that’s a big moment in your life. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: Like, how do you forget when you meet and when you started dating like that’s just odd?

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: Like very odd.

Rachel: I was just like in that moment was like they’re getting a divorce. There’s no way this marriage is going to last.

Nova: I know like oh my God.

Rachel: I’m not even going to lie to you, I thought he was gonna like I didn’t really. I think he’s in his 30s but for some reason my brain was like he’s probably gonna date Clarisse. That’s the only way.

Nova: Yeah, I thought like something like that was gonna happen because I was like I don’t know how old he is like he could be like 30 or so and I’m like they were they like kind of started connecting on a level that like him and his wife clearly don’t have.

Rachel: I know. I was like in the future is everyone’s marriages just trash like because apparently that’s all we see when and then when our friends come over later in the novel and like she’s like, oh, it’s going to be a short war. You know the husband’s gone whatever I was like, oh all marriages in the future are leading to divorce like that’s just what that is.

Nova: Wasn’t like one of them on like their fourth marriage or something too?

Rachel: Yeah. I was like what? So weird.

Nova: Oh my goodness, yeah they were, it is like what is this? like it’s, it was almost like is this kind of like an arranged thing like oh you have to get married. So we’re just going to find the person. I’m just gonna marry them because there’s no like connection with any other relationships. 

Rachel: Yeah. 

Nova: So it’s like. And then I think one of ’em said something about kids, having kids just so they could keep humanity going. So like yeah, why did they get married?

Rachel: I know, I know.

Nova: You have to get married just so you can have kids so we can keep life going.

Rachel: Yeah, we’ll have to get more into that when we get there.

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: But I was, yeah, I was like what? So then Guy’s wife Mildred like took 30 sleeping pills okay and in that moment I was like is she even alive? Like because he said she just has headphones in and like just staring up at the ceiling I’m like is she dead like?

Nova: I, I thought that I was like oh well, here we go.

Rachel:  Oh, and then

Nova: We don’t really know each other so. 

Rachel: Yeah, he could have run into any house or just like yeah, that’s my wife because it didn’t seem like they know each other at all. You know. 

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: Oh my gosh. And then so they go to the hospital, well, I think the hospital actually came to them, but I wrote down that they went to the hospital so I’m not really sure. I think that doctors might just came to them though.

Nova: Yeah, it was a little confusing cause it sounded like they went there and then, like the last line, they were like oh gotta pack up and continue on. 

Rachel: Yeah. 

Nova: I was like wait, you came here?

Rachel: I’m not sure. Yeah, I don’t know whether they went to the hospital or the hospital came there, but either way. Um, they have. Apparently the feature does not believe in bedside manner at all, and it only costs $50.00 for Guy to have her stomach pumped or whatever. And I was in that moment I was like, oh Guy must have amazing insurance, because if that happened in America right now, like getting your stomach pumped would cost like what $500 or something?

Nova: God probably a couple thousand the way it’s going.

Rachel: Honestly, I was like there’s no way it was $50. But later on you find out that he only makes like $6000 a year. So.

Nova: I know that was weird. 

Rachel: Yeah, so I guess when you think about it this was the 50s, so they probably did the same price, not counting for like inflation so.

Nova: Yeah that’s true. 

Rachel: I’m not really sure how much money that is to be honest with you in like present day, but we’ll assume that that’s like 40 grand a year, but that’s still like a big chunk of his income. When you think about the fact that he only makes $6,000 a year.

Nova: Yeah, that is huge, and like to think about the cost of like I think it was one, she wanted another TV wall and it was like two grand.

Rachel: I know I was like no. 

Nova: How do you live? Do you guys buy food or like? 

Rachel: I know I was like does the government give you food?

Nova: Do you pay for your house? How do you live off of this?

Rachel: I know and then he was like, well, we just bought the last one like four months ago and I’m like dude. What? 

Nova: They’re gonna have no money.

Rachel: I know I was starting to worry about their financial security in this fake like book world, you know? Oh my goodness. Oh, and that’s the doctor’s go, but apparently a ton of people are OD-ing nowadays. It’s just a common thing that happens I guess. Like part of their terrible bedside manner is just offhandedly mentioning how many people are trying to OD. And it’s just there’s little tidbits throughout this novel about like how people are just not coping well with the world around them.

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: Like there’s many references to like OD-ing and suicide and like vehicular manslaughter more than there should be, and it’s I, I think that that to me was kind of wild because this is basically the the world that, like your parents warned you about growing up, you know where they’re like “you play too many video games and you’re going to get violent.” I’m like did you all read this book like? But

Nova: Yeah, I think it was like they said they get like 9 or 10 ODS a night.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: So they’re like gotta pack up and keep going like you only get us for this amount of time, cause we gotta go everywhere.

Rachel: What’s the staff look like? Like at the hospital, how many people do they have on staff?

Nova: Really. Oh my goodness. 

Rachel: Especially if they go to everyone’s house.  You have to travel. You know, like oh jeeze, it’s just too much.

Nova: And like that I think was like just in there one city. Wasn’t it like that’s not even taking into account the rest of like America, yes, or I don’t know if it’s still America or if it’s something else at this point, but.

Rachel: I know.

Nova: I think they’re in Chicago, right? Or?

Rachel: That sounds right. No, they met in Chicago. We find that out later. 

Nova: Okay yeah.

Rachel: I don’t actually know.

Nova: I remember Chicago and Saint Louis and I was like.

Rachel: So they’re in America somewhere.

Nova: Somewhere around this area.

Rachel: Somewhere in the Northish, right?

Nova: Yeah, over that way, like North, almost like going to the Midwest kind of area. So.

Rachel: In America.

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: But the wife apparently lives in some sort of fantasy world and says there’s no way she could have taken all those pills. And I’m like, is this denial or is she just crazy?

Nova: Yeah, I wondered that I was like is she just like is this like a crime or something that they do this. I’m like it. It seems like if it was a crime then it wouldn’t be the doctor showing up, but like she acted like, you were never going to admit, make me admit that this happened.

Rachel: I know and I’m just like, is it a failed suicide attempt and she’s just gonna deny or is it like she’s literally out of her mind and she just happened to take a bunch of sleeping pills like I couldn’t figure out what? How she could not admit it, you know?

Nova: Yeah, like that it it just seems so weird that she was in such denial and it’s like, honey, it’s okay we get it.

Rachel: Everyone needs help, you know. It’s, I don’t know it was weird to me that she was just like yeah, there’s no way that didn’t happen and I’m like we were all there. You know we may have been the readers afterwards, but we were all there.

Nova: Yeah exactly, we were all there.

Rachel: Yeah, also Guy or I think it was Guy who mentions it, but someone casually mentions that they drowned cats. And I was like, I’m sorry, why? 

Nova: I totally forgot that part like I don’t know, I don’t remember that.

Rachel: I wrote it down in my notes and I was like what? Like. I guess because they only allow them to have like mechanical dogs, but like there’s no pets.

Nova: Yeah, I I notice that like the only hound was their metal death pup, mechanical hound guy.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: It was like, it’s, and like they were feeding like the cats to it or something? 

Rachel: Yeah I was-

Nova: Like what?

Rachel: Yeah, this it was another one of those moments where I was like what made them decide that cats were the problem. You know, like everything they’ve eliminated was because people stopped caring about it. So what made people stop caring about cats and like dogs and pets and families?

Nova: I don’t know. It was weird. Like maybe like with the whole intelligence of like we all have to be at the same level like.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: If you had a dog or a cat like some people I guess could be like better owners than others or more knowledgeable or something. Like it was just weird, looks like I that’s the only connection I can make of why they aren’t there.

Rachel: I’m now kind of remembering that they said something about like, oh, you know it created a divide like dog owners versus cat owners and that’s why they don’t have pets anymore. I kind of remember them saying something about that.

Nova: That would, yeah, that would make sense because they’re all about the everyone is on the same playing field. We’re all equal. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: So that would make sense, cause that is like a big debate I guess.

Rachel: Yeah, I just love animals okay, like. 

Nova: I know.

Rachel: So then Clarisse doesn’t show up for their walk home and Guy’s like what’s going on? He’s kind of looking around trying to find her and like every night he’s walking home and he keeps like noticing she’s not showing up, and he’s like that’s weird. But yeah, so this kind of gets left alone for a little bit, but he keeps noticing that she’s not there. Uh, so then he’s going to work and they mentioned that, um, anyone who has books get thrown in the insane asylum. You know, that’s drastic, but pretty much everyone chooses to die before they actually like go to the insane asylum. So I wonder how bad it is at the insane asylum to be honest.

Nova: Yeah, I wonder if like, cause like the mechanical hound I remember had something like he injected you with like. I wonder if they almost like use a form of torture of like books are bad. This is what happens when you have books.

Rachel: I know we don’t even get to see that side of the world yet.

Nova: Yeah like we just like, it just like touches upon it of like what happens cause you know we’re in his point of view. So like what does happen to all these people that he has now put away?

Rachel: Yeah, cause I mean they do talk about how most people just choose to die. They don’t come to jail, but I wonder what happens to all the people who actually go and I guess we’ll never find out. We just have to guess for ourselves, but it is kind of crazy to me that like and then in this same sound, my happy wannabe imagination was like, oh maybe the insane asylum there’s like a whole library and everybody gets to read and relax. But like I know that’s not true.

Nova: I think if that was the case, I think all would be like hey look, we have books come burn the place.

Rachel: I know.

Nova: Take us in.

Rachel: I know I would be like, well we bring all of our books insane asylum. We’re like do-do-do.

Nova: Yeah, this is how I wanna live.

Rachel: Also, Guy then mentions that he doesn’t even love his wife and and immediately I was like yes, they’re getting a divorce. That’s just going to happen. They don’t, kind of. I don’t know. So we find out that Clarisse got run over by a car. According to Mildred. And then in this moment I was like Mildred is the worst because she does not like go through this lightly. She just like oh yeah, by the way Clarisse that neighborhood girl, she’s kind of weird. Yeah, she got run over by a car. And I was like, is there no laws against vehicular manslaughter? Because it seems like a lot of people get run over by cars in this universe.

Nova: Yeah it does. And like I was I I kinda remember every time they talk about it. They’re like oh we’re going 90 down the street like you’re in a suburb. 

Rachel: Yeah!

Nova: And you’re going 90 down a street?

Rachel: What does the police do? You know, do they not have a police force? Why is there no penalty for murdering people? Like your population is already not increasing because everyone doesn’t want children and now you’re murdering your like citizens.

Nova: I know apparently they just are too worried about who has books and who doesn’t to realize that going 90 down a suburb street is not going to end well for anybody.

Rachel: I know this kinda reminds me of Pet Sematary. Did you read that one yet?

Nova: I have not read that one yet.

Rachel: Okay, well for everyone in the general audience and for just without spoilers, so this guy lives off of a highway and the like cars are really, really fast and but it’s like you have to cross the highway to go across the street.

Nova: Yeah, it it was weird ’cause like to me, like you know, you leave your house and you’re on this street with all these people, you’re not gonna go immediately like 90 and I think at one point he was talking about they were going 130.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: I’m like that’s too fast.

Rachel: I know I was like, why do they not have laws?

Nova: That’s crazy enough on like an Interstate, but you’re going down like just a regular road. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: At this like, I mean clearly the manslaughter, the vehicular manslaughter makes sense in that case because they’re just out of control.

Rachel: Yeah, I was like at this point and at one point there’s like a time where they actually intend to purposely hit Guy. And I’m like why is there no laws? I don’t understand.

Nova: Yeah, and like the only reason they swerve is ’cause he like fell down. 

Rachel: Yeah. 

Nova: And if they hit him, I mean at least they’re smart enough to know if they hit him when he was lying down, they could flip the car.

Rachel: Yeah! That was their concern

Nova: But like, why would you want to do it anyway?

Rachel: I know I was like. Why is this your source of entertainment? I don’t understand.

Nova: Apparently the TV isn’t good.

Rachel: I know I feel like I should have, like, consulted a literature like English professor and been like, okay, explain to me a couple of things because I’m confused. 

Nova: Yeah it, it’s one of those. It’s like okay, wait a minute.

Rachel: I know, and if anybody listening to this wants to reach out to me on Twitter and tell me why they believe in vehicular manslaughter being okay, let me know because I have so many questions. I am not an English professor. I did not get my degree in symbolism and I don’t understand why.

Nova:  Degree in symbolism. I love that.

Rachel: Listen, my degree was in Advertising which is not helping me at this moment and reading this book.

Nova: I mean, mine was a little closer in Creative Writing, but I was more learning on how to write, not how to analyze the writing. 

Rachel: Nova, get it together. You’re the one of us that’s supposed to be helping here. You got-

Nova: I mostly had the writing classes of here-hey, how do we build build a story? How do we build a believable character? Not why is this okay?

Rachel: Why is vehicular manslaughter OK? How can you not answer that for us in this moment?

Nova: Oh man, I know.

Rachel: The curtains are blue because they’re reflecting on his sadness in his life, right?

Nova: Basically.

Rachel: Oh okay, so Mildred, just the worst, Guy ends up revealing to Mildred that he stole books while the Fire Chief was right there. Oh no sorry. Well, hold on backing up. So Mildred found out about the book Guy stole because the fire-Guy calls out of work and he’s like I’m not feeling well. And then the Fire Chief shows up and he’s in bed and Guy hid the book behind his pillow. And Mildred goes to like straighten up his pillow behind his head, which was weird, but that’s fine and feels the book in the pillow behind him and was like, uhhh. So yeah, the Fire Chief. I think his name is Betty reveals that there are no intellectuals in the world and I’m like how do they cure diseases? Like that? They don’t have scientists.

Nova:  That was like the weirdest thing like I, I kinda got like the oh well, we remove this and this because equality and minorities. I’m like okay like, I understand you’re thinking like that-not that it was correct!

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: But like I understand where you’re going with this and then he was like, well, we won’t don’t want anyone to be like intellectuels either. We want everyone on the same like smart level and I’m like, huh? How are you supposed to like do anything?

Rachel: How do they have doctors? Like-

Nova: Apparently it’s just the machines I guess.

Rachel: I’m just saying, if the doctor is as smart as I am, I would never want surgery.

Nova: Basically.

Rachel: I don’t know what to do with a scalpel. Don’t hand me one, and it’s like basically, if they’re assuming that everyone gets the same level of intelligence and treatment if there are more normalish, oh sorry, I stuttered. If there were no more machines like they can’t survive as a race.

Nova: Yeah, like it’s I almost wonder if like doctors, you learn only that stuff and you’re not allowed to learn anything else. Cause that’s the only way I could see that you’d be on the same like intelligence level. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: Because like if you know how to like do surgery, but like, you know nothing else. You don’t know any history, you don’t know like what’s a car and what’s like if you get taken all that other education away and you can only learn this then it kind of almost keeps people on the same like level, but still at the same time, not really because now that person’s an expert in that area. So like this didn’t make any sense in a way.

Rachel: Yeah, the other thing I kept thinking about was, you know, if they’re allowed books like part of going to University is getting textbook education. If you’re a doctor, you need that textbook education. So if they don’t have books, do you just watch surgeries happen and let people screw up.

Nova: I mean, at one point it said they like had like a magazine or something like it was almost like just books were taken out and then like magazines and newspapers are only put in like the okay stuff. Cause at one point I don’t remember what point it was they were talking about like “Oh well, you can’t have these books because they’re essentially fiction” and she was like, “well, no the people are real like this happened to people.” I think it was like the old lady they were burning and she’s like “no, this is like real people. I only read about real people” and they were like “nope sorry it’s a book. It’s gotta go.”

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: But like earlier on, they had mentioned like a magazine or something or like people knew how to read and like how do you know how to read if like your books are gone? So,

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: It’s almost like there’s some form of material that they learn to read and have.

Rachel: It’s just censorship to the max.

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: I don’t know, so the Fire Chief Betty says that they burn everything that makes them uncomfortable and I would like to know how they don’t have a pollution problem. Because, just like your lighting fires probably, it seems like they like multiple fires a day.

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: I think that’s a good assumption an assuming that’s happening worldwide like they would have horrible pollution. 

Nova: Yeah, especially on what they’re burning like. Obviously books are just paper like it would just create a lot of like smoke, which isn’t bad. I mean it kind of clogs your air, but it will go away but like they burn the whole house and like plastics and everything that is horrible to be putting in there.

Rachel: I know that’s that’s when I read that was like, oh like how are these people breathing the air outside? Because this has been going on for like at least enough to people forget that firefighters did anything else. So you have to assume a couple generations. You know?

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: So they should have, like terrible pollution problems.

Nova: I mean they had altered like history to like they had a passage that was like Benjamin Franklin did this, And like had like the rules for the fireman, it was like-

Rachel: Oh yeah!

Nova: 1790 or something it is, it was just like what, Ben Franklin? No.

Rachel: Do you remember a couple years ago that they said something about how I can’t believe what’s I can’t remember what state it was in, but they were trying to remove parts of history that made people uncomfortable. So it was like they tried to delete slavery from the textbooks.

Nova: Oh yeah, and there was like, I remember seeing an image about the Trail of Tears. And like the textbook was like, oh it was all these nice Native Americans were like “sure, you can have our land” and left. It was like, yeah okay, that’s the farthest from the truth you can get at this point. But.

Rachel: Yeah. So I’m wondering if that’s a play, I wonder if that’s a play on this. Is the fact that they’re changing history, so there would be generations growing up thinking that that’s what’s real and that just kind of made me think of when I read that article about that happening a couple of years ago.

Nova: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too when I saw that thing of like Ben Franklin said this, I was like this is almost like what’s happening now with like the history textbooks not having factual information anymore.

Rachel: Well, that and it’s like most of history that actually happens, you have to learn yourself outside of school because schools don’t allow you to bring in like I, I don’t know how it is where you’re from, but like in Florida like teachers aren’t allowed to give, I don’t even know if this is real law, but basically, teachers are not supposed to put in like their political standing or anything like that, and there’s parts, like I had a teacher once who was like, yeah, just so you know, like Benjamin Franklin, not a great guy and we were like what and she goes, yeah? So there’s a lot of things history textbooks won’t tell you about history and there’s things you’re going to find out while you’re in college and all that kind of stuff.

Nova:I I, I guess, in a way, kind of, mine in high school just basically ended with World War Two. So like I have very little idea of what happens from World War Two until like basically 9/11 cause that’s when I was kind of old enough to start realizing what was going on around me.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: But like we only cover it up until like every history class, I think it took three or four covered that from like the beginning of America to World War Two and I mean ours was pretty good. I think she very voiced like what she thought, and we often did like debates where we had to do our own research on subjects, and kind of debate each other in class. And there were some debates we’d walk in and be like that sides already winning, but we still have to do it.

Rachel: Yeah. 

Nova: So. I’m going to attempt to debate that, but all the information I found supports that side, not mine. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: So I think that helped because we like even though we didn’t get a whole bunch of we missed a ton of like history. We really got to focus on like what was actually going on in those time periods and like what was good, what wasn’t kind of thing.

Rachel: Yeah, almost worse, I took this program called the ACE program. And basically is through Cambridge, so all of my history in high school where you actually learn history is European history. Like I don’t know much about American history like there was a time where I could have told you everything that happened like with oh my gosh, I can’t even think, like Winston Churchill and everything. And, I know nothing about American history like we found out about like the World Wars from the European side like I don’t know anything about what America did in the World wars.

Nova: That’s interesting, like yeah.

Rachel: Cause the-

Nova: I mean, that’s cool that you have that knowledge of that time, but that is interesting that you learned the European stuff. 

Rachel: Yeah, it’s because it was, the program itself was through Cambridge University, so we we. I think we were one of the first high schools that did it in the United States. But yeah, so they didn’t change the history at all. They were like you can learn European history and I was like cool. I mean okay. I won’t repeat the mistakes of Europe, I guess, I don’t know. 

Nova: I can use Europe’s mistakes to compare to what’s going on now.

Rachel: I know.

Nova:  I can’t compare our own.

Rachel: I know I was like, okay I guess we’ll have to figure out like what happened in American history, but it’s funny talking to my younger sisters. They also did European history. So none of us know anything besides what we were taught in middle school about American history.

Nova: Oh my gosh, that’s insane.

Rachel: It’s wild. But anyways okay, back to the Fahrenheit 451. This all stemmed from a pollution problems didn’t it? 

Nova: It did. 

Rachel: No censorship. 

Nova: Oh yeah! Something like that. Who knows?

Rachel: Honestly. Turns out that Guy has been grabbing books for awhile and he has like a whole stockpile and he finally like let’s his wife know about it, which I thought was a terrible plan and they kept making references throughout the beginning then he would like look up into the air conditioning grate, and I’m like why like why do you? What’s so interesting about an AC grate? Do they not normally have AC like that’s that’s what my brain was going to. But it turns out that’s where they were hiding the books.

Nova: Yeah, I was like okay, something’s gonna go on with this. Well, like I was confused when like when did he start grabbing the books cause I thought like Clarisse was kind of his awakening. But I’m like this makes it sound like this was going on even before her. 

Rachel: Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

Nova: That he was grabbing and I was like, wait a minute. I thought we were supposed to be opening here because she was like, he like was so into his job and she was like hi, I’m quirky. 

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: I’m different, I’m gonna make you think differently.

Rachel: Yeah, that’s what I thought too. I was like, oh, I thought the same thing as you and then he has like this mountain of books. So I’m like how long have you been doing it? Cause there’s no way he could grab more than one from each book burning session and it, and it seems like Clarisse had only been in his life for like maybe a month.

Nova: Yeah.

Rachel: Or so. So it’s like, let’s say you know each night he grabs one book. I guess he could have 30 books, but I’m assuming he has weekends off and like that he wouldn’t grab a book everytime.

Nova: Yeah, you wouldn’t wanna like risk doing it every single time too.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: Cause like oh, if you take one every once in a while, no one really is gonna notice, but if you’re taking it every night, people are gonna be like okay, what are you doing? 

Rachel: Yeah, I don’t know.

Nova: Cause like I think the chief guy, he said at one point he was like, oh, you know, at some point everyone wants to, has that curiosity so we kind of let you take it, but you have to bring it back so we can get rid of it. So it’s like, okay, so clearly this curiosity is winning out for most of them if they have this rule. So maybe like one every once in a while, people would be like, oh yeah, I’ve, I’ve been there.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: It’ll be fine so. But like every night would be very suspicious. So like it had to have started before her, which was just the way it was set up. It was like this can’t have. So I was very confused. 

Rachel: Yeah, I’m just like how many books does this dude have now? Because I feel like had they, had he grabbed anymore in the time that we were following his life, like reading through him they would have mentioned something. So I’m guessing that one time frame he only grabbed that one book and I guess I’m just guessing that it’s been a month. I’m not sure how long he actually knew Clarisse and the time frame of this book. It could have been like a week. I have no idea, but

Nova: Yeah, the month sounds about right, cause like they kind of overtime or even a few weeks, because like there was a build in that relationship, like they saw each other a couple times.

Rachel: Yeah.

Nova: But like the way it went from each one was like they’ve met a few times in between. We’re just getting these specific moments.

Rachel: Yeah, so I’m guessing like about a month we followed his life. So yeah, I’m just not, I mean, I don’t know how he grabbed all these books or whatever without anybody noticing ’cause it sounded like he had a stockpile. It wasn’t just like one or two.

Nova: Yeah, so like he put like a mountain of them at her feet.

Rachel: Yeah, he’s like here you go,

Nova: And her reaction was like Oh my God, this is more than one under your pillow.

Rachel: Yeah. But thank you Nova so much for joining me. Is there anyway anywhere you wanna tell the people to find you?

Nova:  Uh, sure. Uh, pretty much it’s just, on almost everything, just find me at NovasaurusRexx with two Xs. It’s me so Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, you know? 

Rachel: Yeah, I’ll link you in the show notes so that everyone can like click it and it’ll be easier. 

Nova: Awesome.

Rachel: But yeah. Thank you so much for joining me.

Nova: Yes of course!

Rachel: And you know reading this with me and I appreciate it.

Nova: Yes, it was great. Thank you very much for having me. 

Rachel: Yeah. Alright, well we will catch you on the next episode, bye.

(Outro Music)

Rachel: Thank you all so much for joining me on this episode of Barely Bookish. Next week we will continue our discussion of Fahrenheit 451. I really hope you all are enjoying it. It’s been a lot of fun to discuss this and talk with Nova and if you want to catch Nova on another episode she was on our Call of Cthulhu episode, our Halloween Special. That was a lot of fun as well, so make sure you check that one out if you haven’t already. Um, yeah if you wanna join those Discord servers like I mentioned in the intro, please do. It’s a lot of fun. The link is in the show notes, so please be sure to check that out and I will catch you in the next episode, bye.

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