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  • "It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.”


  • Fahrenheit 451 opens in a blissful blaze, and before long, we learn what' s going up in flames.

    華氏 451 在極樂的火焰中展開,而不久後,我們將學到火焰中發生了甚麼事。

  • Ray Bradbury's novel imagines a world where books are banned from all areas of life and possessing, let alone reading them, is forbidden


  • The protagonist, Montag, is a fireman responsible for destroying what remains.

    主角 Montag 是一位負責消滅所有剩餘物的消防員。

  • But as his pleasure gives way to doubt, the story raises critical questions of how to preserve one's mind in a society where free will, self-expression, and curiosity are under fire.


  • In Montag's world, mass media has a monopoly on information, erasing almost all ability for independent thought.

    在 Montag 的世界裡,大眾媒體壟斷了資訊,消滅了近乎所有進行獨立思想的能力。

  • On the subway, ads blast out of the walls.


  • At home, Montag's wife Mildred listens to the radio around the clock, and three of their parlor walls are plastered with screens.

    在家裡,Montag 的妻子 Mildred 夜以繼日地聽著廣播,而他們客廳中的其中三道牆佈滿了螢幕。

  • At work, the smell of kerosene hangs over Montag's colleagues, who smoke and set their mechanical hound after rats to pass the time.

    在工作地點,煤油的味道瀰漫在 Montag 一邊抽著菸,一邊讓他們的機械犬去追老鼠以打發時間的同事間。

  • When the alarm sounds they surge out in salamander-shaped vehicles, sometimes to burn whole libraries to the ground.


  • But as he sets tomes ablaze day after day like "black butterflies," Montag's mind occasionally wanders to the contraband that lies hidden in his home.

    但當他日復一日地將大量書冊化作如黑蝴蝶般燒毀後,Montag 時不時想起那些藏在他家的違禁品。

  • Gradually, he begins to question the basis of his work.


  • Montag realizes he's always felt uneasy, but has lacked the descriptive words to express his feelings in a society where even uttering the phrase "once upon a time" can be fatal.

    Montag 了解到他總是感到不自在,但也缺乏描述性的字句,在一個即使只是說「從前從前」都可能致命的世界表達自己的感受。

  • Fahrenheit 451 depicts a world governed by surveillance, robotics, and virtual reality, a vision that proved remarkably prescient, but also spoke to the concerns of the time.

    華氏 451 描述了一個被監視系統、機器人及虛擬實境控制的的世界,所見的事物都非常具有先見之明,但也透露了當代所關心的事。

  • The novel was published in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.

    這部小說於 1953 年出版,時值冷戰高峰期。

  • This era kindled widespread paranoia and fear throughout Bradbury's home country of the United States, amplified by the suppression of information and brutal government investigations.


  • In particular, this witch hunt mentality targeted artists and writers who were suspected of Communist sympathies.


  • Bradbury was alarmed at this cultural crackdown.


  • He believed it set a dangerous precedent for further censorship, and was reminded of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the book-burning of Fascist regimes.


  • He explored these chilling connections in Fahrenheit 451, titled after the temperature at which paper burns.


  • The accuracy of that temperature has been called into question, but that doesn't diminish the novel's standing as a masterpiece of dystopian fiction.


  • Dystopian fiction as a genre amplifies troubling features of the world around us and imagines the consequences of taking them to an extreme.


  • In many dystopian stories, the government imposes constrictions onto unwilling subjects.


  • But in Fahrenheit 451, Montag learns that it was the apathy of the masses that gave rise to the current regime.

    但在華氏451中,Montag 意識到現階段的政權是源自於大眾的漠不關心。

  • The government merely capitalized on short attention spans and the appetite for mindless entertainment, reducing the circulation of ideas to ash.


  • As culture disappears, imagination and self-expression follow.


  • Even the way people talk is short-circuited, such as when Montag's boss Captain Beatty describes the acceleration of mass culture: "Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click? Pick? Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes!"

    甚至連人們溝通的話語都縮短了,像是當 Montag 的老闆 Beatty 隊長描述加速的大眾文化時,他說:「快轉那部影片,Montag,快一點。按下去?選?看,眼睛,現在,這裡,那裡,快速的,速度,上,下,裡面,外面,為什麼,如何,誰,什麼,哪裡,ㄜ? ㄜ!砰!啪!重擊,拚,砰,隆!消化 消化,消化 消化。政治?一欄,兩句話,一則頭條!然後全部消失在空氣中!」

  • In this barren world, Montag learns how difficult it is to resist when there's nothing left to hold on to.

    在這貧脊的世界,Montag 體認到在一個什麼都沒有,沒有辦法依靠任何事物的情況下抵抗是有多麼地困難。

  • Altogether, Fahrenheit 451 is a portrait of independent thought on the brink of extinction, and a parable about a society which is complicit in its own combustion.

    總體來說,華氏 451 描述了獨立思想瀕臨滅絕,也是一部有關該社會如何一同加劇其毀滅殆盡的寓言。

"It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.”


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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 華氏 小說 烏托邦 消化 思想

【閱讀素養】為什麼要讀《華氏 451 度》? (Why should you read "Fahrenheit 451" by Iseult Gillespie)

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    Raven Lin 發佈於 2019 年 03 月 13 日