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Literary Analysis of Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury

Literary Analysis of Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a futuristic novel, telling the story of a time where books and independent thinking are outlawed. In a time so unenlightened, where those who want to better themselves by thinking, are outlawed and killed. Books and ideas are destroyed, books are incinerated, where as ideas thinking becomes a danger to society and is not tolerated.

Bradbury uses literary devices, such as symbolism, in which he portrays the thoughts of man. The book recalls the effects of the Nazi's, and their destruction of literature and text, in a new day and age. Symbolism is a key element to understanding the book and its message of anti-censorship and common ignorance. The Hearth and the Salamander, the title of part one. This example of symbolism suggests two things having to do with fire, the hearth, a center of emotion and heat. Whereas a salamander will embrace heat and fire to gain warmth. The salamander represents the main character of Guy Montag. Montag's occupation as a fireman is to burn books and text to erase their existence and impact on thinking. The symbol of a Phoenix is used throughout the novel. The Phoenix was a mythical bird of ancient Arabian legend. The Phoenix symbolizes the rebirth after destruction by fire. Firemen wear a crest of the Phoenix on their uniforms. Montag, after realizing the truth of his job, opens his eyes and sees that fire and destruction has indeed destroyed his newly gained ideals, he wishes to be "reborn".

With his new ideas of knowledge, he goes to Faber with ideas to save the books, and he hides books in his house. Montag even goes as far as stealing books from houses that he is supposed to be destroying. Phoenix is "reborn" only to get burnt and destroyed, again. Like the Phoenix, Guy's life is a cycle of getting burnt and rebirth, until one time the away Montag escapes and where Montag kills Capt. Beatty by igniting him with the liquid fire. Fire, another example of symbolism, Fire has a dual image in the book, the obvious one, destruction, and a symbol of warmth. For Montag, fire has been good to serve the purpose of being a fireman. Fire is one of the only things Montag knows, and the only thing he knows as a solution is to burn the problem. Capt. Beatty has taught Guy...

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