Why Aren’t you at School?

Norman-Rockwell-schoolCertain books seem to demand the reader to more closely  examine  one’s worldview or convictions. These are worthwhile reads to me and are not twaddle or a waste of time.  Even though I do not read as much as I would like to, books that encourage lively discussions with my family and friends are something that I seek out and delight in. Although I don’t usually choose science fiction type books, reading Fahrenheit 451  caused me to ponder and analyze how I really felt about books…even evil ones. Should they be banned…or destroyed?  The Lord tells us to think about those things which are lovely, and pure and good….to me this means to read about those good things as well. However, even the Bible reveals what evil and sin looks like. Fahrenheit 451 helped me realize that although I may not choose to read certain books, they should be allowed to be written and read…and exist. God has given us the freedom to exchange information and learn new things…this should never be denied by man. Fahrenheit 451 which is a distopian (rather than utopian) novel because of it’s frighting, futuristic, totalitarian setting , was so compelling  because of the many parallels to our world today.

I was reminded of this book again while visiting The Blaze where I found the following quotes from this novel. Check out this conversation about school and socialization. Many of us homeschoolers have had to defend our choice to homeschool when folks have asked us over and over again about our children being socialized. Ironically, I find that most homeschoolers are highly sociable and well spoken just like this young girl in the story. Read on….you will be amazed.

“why aren’t you at school?”

The girl replies, “Oh well, they don’t miss me. I’m antisocial they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it? I mean, social to me means you talk to people about things.”

“You talk about how strange the world is,” she continues. “Being with people is nice, but I don’t think it’s social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures and then more sports. But, you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don’t. They just run the answers at ya, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four hours of film teacher. That’s not social to me at all. It’s like a bunch of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom and them telling us it’s wine when we all know it’s not. They run us so ragged that by the end of the day, we can’t do anything but go to bed or head to a fun park to bully people around…”

“I haven’t any friends,” she proceeds to say, “But that’s supposed to prove I’m abnormal? …Everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild people, beating up on one another. Do you notice how many people hurt each other nowadays?”

[The fireman] says to her, “You sound so very old.” fahrenheit451

“Sometimes I think I’m ancient. I’m afraid of children my own age. They kill each other. Did it always used to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I’m afraid of them. They don’t like me because I’m afraid. My uncle says my grandfather remembered when children didn’t kill each other, but that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility, my uncle says. You know I’m responsible. I was spanked when I needed it years ago. When I’d do all the shopping and the housecleaning by hand. But most of all,” she said, “I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and I look at them and I listen to them. I just want to figure out what they are and what they want to be and where they’re going. Sometimes I go to the fun parks and ride the jet cars, and as they race along the edge of the town at midnight and the police don’t care, as long as they’re insured, as long as everybody has 10,000 insurance points, everybody’s happy. Sometimes I just sneak around and listen in. I listen in subways or I listen at soda fountains. And you know what?”


“People don’t talk about anything.”

“Oh, they must,” he said.

“No. No. Not anything. They’ll name a lot of cars or they’ll talk about clothes or swimming pools and they’ll all say, oh, that’s swell. But they all say the same things. Nobody says anything different from anybody else….It doesn’t mean anything. And at the museums, have you ever been to the museums? They’re all abstract. That’s all they are now. My uncle says it was different once. A long time ago, a long time back sometimes pictures showed things or even showed people.”

“Your uncle,” he said, “he must have been a remarkable man.”

“Oh, he is. He certainly is.”

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