Fahrenheit 451 Symbols

Symbols Many major symbols appear in the titles Bradbury uses in the novel. The title of the novel, Fahrenheit 451 is symbolic because it is the temperature at which paper burns. Two other symbols associated with fire appear in the title of Part 1 of the novel, the hearth and the salamander. The hearth contains a fireplace and, when used constructively, can heat a home. Ancient peoples believed the salamander could live in fire. Salamanders are also the names given to fire trucks and are the official symbol of the firefighters.Thus, they represent the destructive nature of fire. The title of Part 2, “The Sand and the Sieve” is also symbolic. The sand represents the truth Montag, the main character, is seeking and the sieve is the human mind which sometimes makes it impossible to grasp the truth and remember it. At the end of the novel, the Phoenix, a mystical bird that would burn itself up and then rise again, is used as a symbol for the renewal of mankind. Mankind can almost destroy themselves, but they also can learn from their mistakes so, like the Phoenix, they have the capacity to rise from the ashes, and to rebuild their society.
The Hearth and the Salamander symbolize fire. A hearth is a fireplace and traditionally represents the home. In mythology, the salamander could live in fire and not be harmed. Salamander is also the name of Montag’s firetruck.The symbols are ironic. Montag does not live unharmed by fire as he realizes how burning books has ruined his society and that his society has ruined his home as evidenced by Mildred’s dependence on TV and sleeping pills.
The Sieve and the Sand The title of the second part of Fahrenheit 451 symbolizes Montag’s effort to learn as he reads (kind of like reading Shakespeare in your English class in the 8th grade). Sand is knowledge that eludes him. The sieve is his mind trying to make the knowledge permanent.
The Phoenix The phoenix is a mythological bird who bursts into flames at death and rises from the ashes born again. The phoenix represents Montag’s spiritual rebirth, society’s attempt to rediscover itself, and the cyclical nature of life. The Phoenix is when Granger compares mankind to the phoenix that raises itself up from the ashes.
Mirrors Granger suggests they build a giant mirror factory and take a look at themselves, which means he’s either really vain or he’s commenting on the importance of self-understanding. Clarisse is also compared to a mirror for helping Montag see himself. The intellectual Granger is probably familiar with Julius Caesar in which Brutus is counseled by Cassius to see himself as he is. Mirrors symbolize self reflection, which is why Granger wants to build a mirror factory. parlor walls reflect mindlessness and isolation, and are desired in the dystopian society.
Blood – symbolizes life or the lack of life. Montag’s revolutionary thoughts are most often accompanied by the increased flow of blood. Mildred’s poisoned blood is replaced by new blood after she attempts suicide; it, however, does not revive her soul and she remains dead inside.
Fahrenheit 451 – The temperature at which books burn symbolizes the disintegration of Montag’s society. In essence, it’s the temperature at which society burns.
Books – Faber explains the importance of books, that they represent quality of life. The burning books represent the killing of knowledge and the killing of freedom of thought. Throughout the novel books are qualified mostly as birds. Like the nature the birds also stand for a positive thing. By this the great force books contain is stressed. It also intensifies the contrast with the brutality and violence of the book burning. At the end of the novel it is mentioned that birds come back to the forest after the town has been bombed. In this case the birds symbolize that a good future will follow.
The mechanical hound represents the absence of nature and natural things.
the water The scene where water has the most important meaning is the scene when Montag crosses the river to escape out of the city to get into the Forest. The water divides the two completely different worlds and symbolizes a border. The river saves Montag and transports him away from the city to secrete him from the pursuing hound. Resumed the water is a symbol for a helpful force which saves Montag and is a contrast to the fire.
Tone The tone of this book matches the societies feelings towards knowledge. Society forebodes reading these books and gaining knowledge. This book is also a little anxious. Montag has a trist or a empty place in his heart for knowledge and he quenches this thirst not with gatorade but with questioning everything just like clarisse who taught him how to question. He also trys to read books to see what is inside them and to see if they are good or bad. This book is also dramatic. When Clarisse dies Montag gets a little depressed and also suspicious about how she died. Its not like he becomes Sherlock Holmes and trys to figure out how Clarisse dies, but he does get suspious. Mildred knows that Clarisse died but doesn’t metion it to Montag but Montag figures out that Mildred knows and gets upset with her. Also some dramatic nail biting parts can be when Montag is burning his own house you can see hatred on his face and the glow of the fire in his eyes. Then when Captain Beattty finds the green bullet you can imagine how montag was pointing the flame thrower at him and how Captain Beatty was gesturing him to pull the trigger. The nail biting event doesnt occur until he kill Captain Beatty and hes with the hound.
Genre Science FictionLiterary genre that makes imaginative use of scientific knowledge or conjecture
Point Of View third person limited omniscient. It is focused on Guy Montag’s own views, beliefs, and actions. Omniscient means all knowing and limited means; one having total knowledge. Most of the book is about learning who Montag is, and understanding his many personal crisis.

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