Fahrenheit 451 symbolism of fire essay

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Fahrenheit 451 symbolism of fire essay

Introduction In Ray Bradbury's FahrenheitMontag's escape through the river symbolizes his salvation, along with several other things. In several other instances besides the river, water is used to contrast fire Fahrenheit 451 symbolism of fire essay to thus show the difference between good and evil.

Also, the forest through which he travels river symbolizes the innocence of mankind before civilization. This is merely a scratch on the surface of this novel's seemingly endless symbolism.

Fahrenheit tells the story of a fireman named Montag whose job is to set fire to books in order to maintain society's ignorance. Discussion When Montag kills Beatty, the Fire Chief, he decides to run from the world that he has lived his whole life in.

His newfound friend Faber, another person on the outskirts of society, tells him that he will be safe if he makes it to the river. Rivers often represent 'divine emissaries, life, and the entrance into the afterlife' Jobes Montag knew he must never burn again' Bradbury This shows that the river changes Montag or is at least the cocoon in which he stays while he undergoes a metamorphosis into what is basically a different person.

Also, it is interesting that, in the old South as well as in Biblical times, the baptisms of new Christians often would take place in the nearest river or creek Montag's journey in the river seems to be a baptism of sorts, as it frees him from the shackles and chains of his former life.

The river, however, is only the vessel in which Montag travels to the heart of the forest. The forest is the 'abode of man in his state of innocence, and a Hebrew symbol for kingdom' Jobes In the novel, the forest and the river are likened to one another at times, such as when Montag describes the forest floor as 'a dry river smelling of hot cloves and warm dust' Bradbury When Montag several men who, like him, are on the outside of society looking in, they are at the old railroad tracks that cut through the heart of the forest like a rusty dagger wielded by the filthy hand of industry.

It is here that he finds his real redemption. The river is not the only use of water as symbolism in Fahrenheit Water symbolizes 'baptism, cleansing, resurrection, and is a source of both good and evil' Jobes Water is used on numerous occasions to contrast with fire, which is representative of 'divine love, fervor, and life, but also divine anger, destruction, and death' Jobes Usually, they contrast good and evil, and although fire is generally associated with evil, its symbolism begins to change toward the end of the novel When Montag sees the fire the men in the forest are using to warm themselves, he realizes 'he has never thought in his life that fire [can] give as well as take' Bradbury The fire is a metaphor for Montag; he finally realizes that he can change the world for the better instead of for the worse.

The title of the book represents the temperature at when books burn, and from another perspective, it shows up to what point the books can take censorship until they are eliminated. The fire was a part of Montag toward the beginning of the novel. It wanted to 'purify' him from thoughts of books and differing or conflicting opinions.

In the opening chapter of the book, after doing a routine burning of books his feelings are as follows: Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark.

It never went away He was ignorant; he was in bliss, as the saying goes. The burning represented the society's desire to burn everything down so everybody can be the same, since fire burns everything to ashes, regardless of what it is.

Today, this is the same thing as the Ten Commandments controversy in Alabama. The burning in the book and the push to remove the commandments represents the purification and appeasement of all groups to burn things down to the ashes so it becomes appealing to all groups and factions.

Each symbol that that Bradbury used in his novel did illustrate the turmoil and struggles that went with Montag, and his eventual changes. He went from ignorance to the attempt of pursuing knowledge. The symbols that show Montag's changes also teach the audience a lesson of the importance of being knowledgeable, because it fills the void inside you left by the fire of the televisions radios and computers.

Fahrenheit revolves around the image of a fireman, not as a symbol of preservation, but as a being of destruction of man's knowledge.

Mogen explains the role of the fireman as the 'American Dream gone awry: The opening of Fahrenheit describes Guy Montag's excitement as he completes another job, 'It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed' Bradbury 1.

Montag is a fireman whose job it is to burn books, and accordingly, discourage the citizenry from thinking about anything except four-wall television. Captain Beatty is the ringleader of their destructive job, and warns Montag to hold back the flood of confusing ideas contained in books, which would put out the firemen's torch.

Montag's mentor, Professor Faber, warns him of Captain Beatty before he enters the firehouse for the last time as a fireman, 'Remember that the Captain belongs to a most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority.

Oh, the terrible tyranny of the majority Bradbury Beatty represents the tyranny of the majority when he tries to explain to Montag the reason for destroying books.

He contends that the glory of fire is that it eliminates controversy, discontent, and unhappiness.Bradbury uses this conjunction of images as the title of the first part of Fahrenheit The hearth, or fireplace, is a traditional symbol of the home; the salamander is one of the official symbols of the firemen, as well as the name they give to their fire trucks.

Fahrenheit 451 symbolism of fire essay

A summary of Themes in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Fahrenheit and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

Symbolism in Fahrenheit essaysFahrenheit , by Ray Bradbury, is a futuristic novel, taking the reader to a time where books and thinking are outlawed.

Fahrenheit 451 symbolism of fire essay

In a time so dreadful where those who want to better themselves by thinking, and by reading are outlaws as well. The symbolism of fire in Fahrenheit is the most prominent and has caught the attention of this article.


Bradbury uses fire to symbolize three things in his work; destruction, knowledge, and rebirth. There are examples of symbolism in the book, Fahrenheit There are several examples of symbolism for The Hearth and the Salamander, in the book Fahrenheit The three main symbols that are being focused on are the salamander, the snake, and the names of the characters in the book.

The Symbolism of Fire Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury, is a novel filled with many symbols. The symbolism used in this novel varies from different animals to things in nature. One of the biggest symbols throughout the novel is fire.

Fahrenheit - Symbolism Essay