What Is Symbolism In Fahrenheit 451

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Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a novel set in a futuristic time where books are burned and seen as problematic. Instead of reading, the people in this society live in a virtual reality. They wear “seashells” and spend their days with their “family” that live in the screens. “No one has a true understanding of actual happiness or freedom” which causes the main character, Montag, to question the world he lives in (Sisario 2). As he begins questioning the way of life he is used to, the reader gets a new sense of consciousness that was not there before. The turn of events causes symbolism to shine through like the sun after a long period of rain. Guy Montag, like other characters, are used by Bradbury as living symbols to represent the different…show more content…
Beatty makes it obvious to the reader that he has a plethora of knowledge about books and history. Beatty quotes many works to Montag; however, Beatty does not allow his conscience to blur his judgement on what is right and wrong. He uses his knowledge to prove to his men that books and wild ideas these authors produced are dangerous to society. Beatty is just one of the sparks that start the fire within Montag, and with each spark Montag emerges from the ashes to become a man who is thinking and acting on his beliefs. Beatty is burned to death, like a phoenix, which gives him a literal representation of the phoenix burning up in its own flames (Sisario 2). Beatty has a rebirth moment just like a phoenix would when being born again from its ashes. Beatty quotes Julius Caesar before his death which captures “the honesty with which he is ’arm’d’ is the honesty of confession and remorse” (Smolla 5). Beatty expresses his regret for not founding the revolution, which represents his birth from the ashes like a phoenix. The women also ignite a spark in Montag that is hard to ignore. The first spark is lit by the woman who sacrificed herself with her books. Her last words stick to Montag like the smell of kerosene throughout Fahrenheit 451; “Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out” (Bradbury…show more content…
To begin, Mildred, Montag’s wife, tries to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills. This is an event that makes the reader see that people are obviously unhappy in their day to day lives. The medical team comes to clean out Millie’s insides, and in this moment, machine is more alive than she. Mildred is cold and dead while this machine is slithering down and cleaning her of the toxins. Montag begins noticing how unimportant she is to him; “And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn’t cry” shows how messed up society is (Bradbury 44). They have turned this people into complete strangers, but that is the way live is for everyone living in this time. Next, the name Clarisse means light or clarity which provides foreshadowing on Clarisse’s role in the novel (Zipes 2). “’You think too many things,’ said Montag, uneasily” (Bradbury 9). The word “uneasily” gives the reader the sense that something is wrong, but Clarisse is only thinking. However, that is not normal in the world they live in. Clarisse questions Montag’s happiness which displays a reflection of Montag’s character and life. He then realizes how upsetting life really is and begins to change it by reading and going against the current. Granger makes a point to open a mirror factory after the end of the world. Granger says,
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