Fahrenheit 451 - Symbolism

Ray Bradbury, perhaps one of the best-known science fiction, wrote the amazing novel Fahrenheit 451. The novel is about Guy Montag, a ‘fireman’ who produces fires instead of eliminating them in order to burn books (Watt 2). One night while he is walking home from work he meets a young girl who stirs up his thoughts and curiosities like no one has before. She tells him of a world where fireman put out fires instead of starting them and where people read books and think for themselves (Allen 1).
At a bookhouse, a woman chooses to burn and die with her books and afterwards Montag begins to believe that there is something truly amazing in books, something so amazing that a woman would kill ...

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it (Slusser 63). Symbolism is involved in many aspects of the story. In Fahrenheit 451Ray Bradbury employs various significant symbols through his distinct writing style.
First, burning is an important symbol in the novel. The beginning of Fahrenheit 451 begins with, "it was a pleasure to burn. It was a pleasure to see things blackened and changed" (3). Burning rouses the "consequences of unharnessed technology and contemporary man’s contented refusal to acknowledge these consequences" (Watt 1). In these first two sentences he creates a sense of curiosity and irony because in the story change is something controlled and unwanted by the government and society, so it is very unlikely that anything in Guy Montag’s society could be changed. The burning described at this point represents the constructive energy that later leads to "apocalyptic catastrophe" which are the "polls" of the novel (Watt 1). At one instance, after Montag ...

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spirit while in contrast, Beatty symbolizes the destroying function of fire (Watt 2). Fire, Montag’s reality and world, refines and purifies his mind and also gives unity and depth to the story (McNelly 3). Montag interprets his experiences in terms of fire (Watt 2). In Montag’s society the fireman’s torch has become a flame of reason (Slusser 63). Scientists also consider fire a "mystery" in the novel (115). Fire is a consequential symbol in the story.

Thirdly, the Mechanical Hound is a meaningful symbol. The narrator describes the hound as follows, "the Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live…it was like a great bee come home from ...

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Added: 1/19/2008 03:35:08 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1362
Pages: 5

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