Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Essay

Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Essay

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Symbolism is a major literary device that helps people see a book through symbols that often have a deeper meaning. A symbol is used to explain something in a different way, using images, objects, etc. instead of just saying it in words. As you search for a deeper meaning in a work of art or literature it can help you understand the author’s intentions and the deeper significance of a work. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, symbols help reinforce the major themes of the book.
Fire and flames have been used as symbols by many authors. Fire is representative of Montage. He was a fireman who made fires rather than put them out. He was around them all the time, whether it was around a campfire or burning down a house. Montag and fire were very close and almost part of each other. In the beginning of the book Montag is shown to love fire, “It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.” (3) He didn’t perceive it to be bad and destructive thing. But in a larger sense, Montag did identify fire with warmth and spirit.
By the end of the book Montag had gone through a tremendous change. He looked at life in a new way. When Montag escaped from the world of book burning he discovered the “book people” sitting around a campfire in the woods, “Montag walked slowly toward the fire and the five old men sitting there dressed in the dark-blue shirts. He did not know what to say to them. ‘Sit down,’ said the man who seemed to be the leader of the small group.” (147) the campfire represents warmth but it also represents the spirit and strength Montag had to start his new life as a book person.
A salamander is described in the book as a mythical lizard that can live in fire. The...

... middle of paper ...

...he book people are going to remember not only who they are, but the books that each one of them has held safely in their minds.
The phoenix is a well-known symbol of new beginnings. Montag realizes that fire and his life around fire had burned him. He wants to get out and start a new life which he does when he meets the book people. The phoenix was a bird in ancient mythology that burned to death and a new phoenix would rise from its ashes, representing rebirth and new beginnings. Granger is talking about the phoenix when the city gets bombed at the end of the book, “ ‘But every time he burnt himself, up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we're doing the same thing, over and over…’ ” The phoenix also represents Montag and how his life represents constant destruction followed by new beginnings coming out of the ashes.

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