About 3 months ago, I read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This classic science fiction novelette describes the life of Guy Montag, a fireman who lives in an entertainment, 'me, myself, and I,' possessed futuristic society. This world's view of firemen is drastically different. The world is so technologically advanced that all houses are now fireproof. A fireman's job is to scout out people who still own 'outlawed' books, which means all books. He then bugs the fireproof system, and blows the house up.....
During Christmas dinner at my grandparent's house my uncle, who works with the computer systems in the Jacksonville, Alabama public schools, began telling us of new, innovative tools that teachers are using. One was pod casts and audio books; another tool was 'interactive textbooks.' There are some classes that no longer allow students to use their textbooks in class, period. This is because many of the children have such short attention spans, due to computers, video games, TV, and movies, that most just fiddle with the books and will not pay attention when books are used in class. Therefore the textbooks are uploaded to a Power Point system and used in an interactive format. There are some really great advantages to this tool, even for teens who love books. However, I don't believe this should be used exclusively in place of textbooks. What concerned me was when my 25 yr. old cousin, this uncle's son, said that he thought this was great because, 'Books are so old, I mean most people don't think a lot of them now.'.......
About 2 weeks ago I was eating lunch in Chick-Fil-A when I noticed an example of how our society is rejecting real literature, especially for young children. To start with I have to praise Chick-Fil-A for, most of the time, choosing educational 'toys' to place in their Kid's Meals. Currently they are adaptations of great classics such as The Prince and the Pauper and Captains Courageous. A couple tables over there were several moms and young children. Because she wanted to keep her child 'happy' momentarily, one of the moms suggested to her child to go up to the counter and ask to trade the book in for ice cream........
I love books. After GOD and family, books and music are my greatest passions. It scares me to even think of a world without them. But what really bothers me is that although the Great Books are still available to the general public, many children will grow up not reading them. If education and entertainment doesn't change, their small knowledge, if any, will be composed of boring introductions at school and misinterpreted theatrical and silver screen productions. It hurts me to think that these people will never experience Pip's lessons of self-denial, Darcy finally being accepted by Lizzy, Emma attempting to plan poor Harriet's future through match-making, Passepartout the faithful servant, laughing as the shrew is tamed, Tom Sawyer learning the lessons of life, the beautiful transformation of Jean Valjean, David's praises and lamentations, Israel's history, and most importantly the story of our Savior. If we don't pass on a love of the written word to those around us, we may find ourselves in a world where self-love is the only love.
The books I referenced to in the last paragraph are-
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The Holy Bible