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Winning writer Derrick Jones at the essay contest award ceremony with Tom Messner, NSU Broken Arrow Library Director, and Jennifer Kilgore, Muskogee High School Head Librarian. Photo courtesy of Northeastern State University 

As part of its Big Read celebration of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Oklahoma's Northeastern State University sponsored an essay writing contest for local high school students. Here's an excerpt from the winning essay by Derrick Jones, a sophomore at Muskogee High School.

Fahrenheit 451 is a fiction, but in it is a multitude of universal truths and lessons. Ignorance is bliss . . . for a time. Then it becomes emptiness, transforming people into vacuous ghosts of who they used to be. Sometimes the truth is cruel . . . but does that make a difference? If we never know pain, we can never know pleasure. By removing all the bad things, you erase the good as well. The novel is a warning: find a balance between the two, or you will forever be lost.

Want to find a Fahrenheit 451 Big Read near you? Just visit The Big Read calendar.



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