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Episode 92: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, Part 1

Welcome to another episode of The Literary Life podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks! This week our hosts open a new series on Ray Bradbury’s well-known novel Fahrenheit 451. They talk about the form of the dystopian novel and why it is such a popular form in the modern world. Angelina shares some background on the form, as well as some of the foremost authors and books in this genre. Then they dive into the text, starting with the images of the hearth and the salamander. Looking at the world Bradbury has created, they take note of some of the major ideas and discuss any similarities to our current culture seen in these first several chapters.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at

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Commonplace Quotes:

If someone tells you what a story is about, they are probably right. If they tell you that that is all the story is about, they are very definitely wrong.

Neil Gaiman

It will be a bad day for England when we have done with Shakspere; for that will imply, along with the loss of him, that we are no longer capable of understanding him.

George MacDonald

Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school it was during the Depression, and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for ten years.

Ray Bradbury

from “The Burning of the Leaves”

by Laurence Binyon

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.
They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke
Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.

The last hollyhock’s fallen tower is dust;
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;
Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.

Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before:
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;
Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.
The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.

Book List:

A Dish or Orts by George MacDonald

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Utopia by Thomas More

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

H. G. Wells

“The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

Dorothy Sayers

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