Dad's response to Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

off-topic conversation unrelated to Jane's Addiction

Dad's response to Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

Postby chaos » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:17 am

Kid needs permission slip to read 'Fahrenheit 451,' his dad's response is brilliant

Jay Hathaway — 2016-10-24 10:24 p.m. | Last updated 2016-10-24 10:25 p.m.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's cautionary tale about book censorship, was written as a response to the paranoid political climate of the McCarthy era, but its message apparently still hasn't sunk in. It's 2016, and some kids still aren't allowed to read the book without a permission slip from their parents.

Daily Show head writer Daniel Radosh just had to sign a note so his son could read it for a school book club. As Radosh's son Milo explained in the note, Fahrenheit 451 has been challenged over the years by parents who object to the book's mild swears ("hell" and "damn") and its depiction of Bible-burning.

But those objections miss the point of the novel—they could only be more ironic if parents were calling for copies of Bradbury's book to be destroyed. And Radosh is practically an irony-spotter by profession, so this wasn't lost on him. He signed the slip and attached his own note, praising Milo's teacher for immersing the kids so thoroughly in the world of Fahrenheit 451.

Here's what he wrote:

I love this letter! What a wonderful way to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society -- schools and parents -- might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one. It's easy enough to read the book and say, 'This is crazy. It could never really happen,' but pretending to present students at the start with what seems like a totally reasonable 'first step' is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be I'm sure that when the book club is over and the students realize the true intent of this letter they'll be shocked at how many of them accepted it as an actual permission slip. In addition, Milo's concern that allowing me to add this note will make him stand out as a troublemaker really brings home why most of the characters find it easier to accept the world they live in rather than challenge it. I assured him that his teacher would have his back.

Looks like this assignment's going to be a learning experience for everyone involved.

User avatar
Posts: 4024
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Dad's response to Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

Postby Hokahey » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:53 pm

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3726
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:51 pm

Re: Dad's response to Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

Postby Hype » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:23 pm

The greatest virtue of reading is that it can be done silently. It lets you encounter, think, and express yourself in ways no state could even in principle ever fully control. Public schools have always run into this problem: education provides the means to question authority and entrenched power. But education can't do this if it is designed to make us useful idiots for industry, with "skills training" substituted for self-development, which cannot come entirely from oneself alone, but only from the broadest possible experiences. Reading can allow everyone to escape from the shackles of parochial existence. Without this freedom, you're left with nothing but whatever morsels you're given, confusion, fear, and anger. This kid is lucky his dad must have been given access to that freedom.
User avatar
Posts: 6272
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: Dad's response to Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

Postby dannyboy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:05 am

My friend just helped se up Bookclub in italy. The first book they chose was Fahrenheit 451 and they found a free online version they could send out to people. They realised too late that the version had transposed burn for bum, burned for bummed and burning for bumming throughout the whole book. Genius!
User avatar
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:32 am
Location: UK/Italy

Return to Off-Topic Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest