Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury is a futuristic novel, taking the reader to a time where books and thinking are outlawed. In a time so dreadful where those who want to better themselves by thinking, and by reading are outlaws as well. Books and ideas are burned, books are burned physically, whereas ideas are burned from the mind. Bradbury uses literary devices, such as symbolism, but it is the idea he wants to convey that makes this novel so devastating. Bradbury warns us of what may happen if we stop expressing our ideas, and we let people take away our books, and thoughts. Bradbury notices what has been going on in the world, with regards to censorship, and McCarthyism in America. That is what he is speaking out against. Bradbury's use of symbolism throughout the novel makes the book moving and powerful by using symbolism to reinforce the ideas of anti-censorship.
The Hearth and the Salamander, the title of part one, is the first example of symbolism. The title suggests two things having to do with fire, the hearth is a source of warmth and goodness, showing the positive, non-destructive side of fire. Whereas a salamander is a small lizard-like amphibian, and also in mythology, is known to endure fire without getting burnt by it. Perhaps the salamander is symbolic of Guy Montag, who is being described as a salamander because he works with fire, and endures it, but believes that he can escape the fire and survive, much like a salamander does. On the other hand, it is ironic that Guy, and the other firemen believe themselves to be salamanders because both Capt. Beatty's and Montag's destruction comes from the all mighty flame, from which they thought they were invincible.
The symbol of a Phoenix is used throughout the novel. This quote accurately describes the Phoenix, "It is known to be a mythical multi-colored bird of Arabia, with a long history of artistic and literary symbolism, the Phoenix is one of a kind. At the end of its five-hundred-year existence, it perches on its nest of spices and sings until sunlight ignites the masses. After the body is consumed in flames, a worm emerges and develops into the next Phoenix.". The Phoenix symbolizes the rebirth after destruction by fire, only to get burnt, and be destroyed again. Firemen wear the Phoenix on their uniforms, and Capt. Beatty symbolically ...
... middle of paper ...
... was the Nazi book burning that took place after Hitler came to power. These burings took place to eliminate Jewish and outside ingluence on the Aryans, which is precisely what Bradbury demonstrates in this extraordinary piece of literature. Now to the probability portion of my statement, with the censorship by various parties, political and otherwise it is not unlikely that such a catasrophy could happen again, although it could come in the form of simply choking off the undesireable ideas.
Symbolism added to the power and overall affect behind this book. The symbols were usually descriptive of something or somebody, such as the Phoenix, and the salamander. Whereas destruction and fire came to be a symbol in the eyes of the reader throughout the novel. Perhaps this novel, written in the early 1950's, spoke out against the future, and spoke out against censorship, but one thing is for sure, we must always attempt to better ourselves with knowledge, and always form our own ideas. If we do, then we will have gotten the message of Ray Bradbury. "There is no knowledge that is not power... And all our lives we must search for power, and in that search, we gain knowledge."(Anonymous)
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Symbolism in Farenheight 451 by Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury is a futuristic novel, taking the reader to a time where books and thinking are outlawed. In a time so dreadful where those who want to better themselves by thinking, and by reading are outlaws as well. Books and ideas are burned, books are burned physically, whereas ideas are burned from the mind. Bradbury uses literary devices, such as symbolism, but it is the idea he wants to convey that makes this novel so devastating.... [tags: Farenheight 451 Ray Bradbury]
1288 words (3.7 pages)
- Ray Bradbury’s satire, Fahrenheit 451, is a novel full of symbols criticizing the modern world. Among those symbols appears The Hound. The Hound’s actions and even its shape are reflections of the society Bradbury has predicted to come. Montag’s world continues on without thought; without any real reason. There is no learning, no growth, and no purpose. “The Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in the dark corner of the firehouse'; (24), wrote Bradbury to describe this hound.... [tags: Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury]
602 words (1.7 pages)
- It was the size of an eagle. Its eyes were not like ordinary birds, ferocious and darting about with suspicion. No, its eyes had a sense of humility over them with a gentleness that only eyes full of wisdom can have. The beak was long, narrow, smooth, and bathed in a burnt orange tint. The feet took a similar shade, but were riddled with crevices, cracks and chinks in the dry skin from which razor like talons protruded. It had a plumage full of brilliant hues of crimson with glints of purple and gold dispersed throughout.... [tags: Symbolism of a Phoenix]
1032 words (2.9 pages)
- Burning a Hole in Fahrenheit Final Draft Fahrenheit 451 has various main characters. These characters play the most important role in creating the feel of the story. Their appearance, actions, ideas, and relationships to other characters in the story give important insight to the world of Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury's craft of creating characters with much symbolism is one of the most important aspects of Fahrenheit 451. From Guy Montag to Captain Beatty, he implements careful design in each character, molding them into more than just symbols.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
1121 words (3.2 pages)
- Biblical Christianity is a very simple thing in essence. God incarnate gave his life for our sins so that if we believe in Him we shall have eternal life. Most would agree that this is very basic in nature. The actual life leading up to and following this decision happens to be the interesting part that is shrouded in much confusion in the world today. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury actually manages to offer loads of simple clarity on what this Christian life basically consists of through the life of Guy Montag as a fireman, his pursuit of knowledge and knowledge’s pursuit of him, and his ultimate escape into freedom.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
812 words (2.3 pages)
- In Fahrenheit 451, many events relate back to events that have occurred in history. It helps bring the message that Bradbury is trying to bring across. The story helps discourage censorship and the use of too much technology. It encourages intelligence, as the firemen are burning books and diminishing the remains of intelligent life on earth. There is a ton of symbolism in the book, to help pinpoint what the book means and the goals of the author. One example is that 451º is the temperature in which they burn the books.... [tags: Farenheit 451 Essays]
589 words (1.7 pages)
- The book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury tells the tale of a future society which outlaws books. This book has a lot of symbolism and the symbols used in the text help support what the purpose of the book is, being to avoid conformity and not to let society become uniform. This book fights for individuality and shows just how important that is by displaying the consequences of destroying this characteristic. The purpose of the book is to prevent an unfavorable future where society is all conformed and everyone is the same.... [tags: Fahrenheit 451]
885 words (2.5 pages)
- It is only once in a while a book comes along so great in its message, so frightening in its inferred meaning’s of fire as in Fahrenheit 451. Fire which is used as a symbol of chaos, destruction, and death can also lead to knowledge. Fire has 3 different meanings. Fire represents change which is shown through Montag’s symbolic change from using fire to burn knowledge into using fire to help him find knowledge; fire can represent knowledge as demonstrated through Faber, and fire can represent rebirth of knowledge as shown through the phoenix.... [tags: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451]
774 words (2.2 pages)
- Analysis of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Imagine living in a world where you are not in control of your own thoughts. Imagine living in a world in which all the great thinkers of the past have been blurred from existence. Imagine living in a world where life no longer involves beauty, but instead a controlled system that the government is capable of manipulating. In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, such a world is brought to the awareness of the reader through a description of the impacts of censorship and forced conformity on people living in a futuristic society.... [tags: Literature Fahrenheit 451 Books Essays]
3556 words (10.2 pages)
- With a spout of kerosene and a flick of a match, a fireman sets fire to a house and all the books inside it, not waiting for the heat to reach 451 degrees farhenheit; the temperature in which it is said books ignite. This may seem a strange thing, a fireman setting fire, but in the futuristic world author Ray Bradbury created in his work Farhenheit 451(1951) this is the norm. A fireman's job is to hunt those with books and set destroy all the books with thier flames. In the Bradbury's book, the government has deemed books and all who possess them public enemy Number One, and society has accepted that with no questions asked.... [tags: literary analysis]
1466 words (4.2 pages)