Fahrenheit 451 Symbols

Symbols are used in novels to represent something else that helps to attach an additional meaning to something or someone. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, books were banned from society because they never agreed with each other. There was always a book that offend a minority group so it caused a conflict. So instead of keeping those book, firemen changed their job from putting out fires to burning books.

In Fahrenheit 451, symbols are used many times throughout the story. There were 3 symbols that stood out to me mostly that helped Guy Montag in his journey: Clarisse McClellan because she has a uniqueness about her that doesn’t fit in in this society, the Phoenix that Granger mentioned at the ending of the novel, and also fire because it is a very complex symbol that has different meanings.

Clarisse McClellan is a seventeen year old girl who is an outcast in her society because of her odd habits of asking questions, hiking, and curiosity. Clarisse opened Guy Montag’s world to look deeper at things then they already are. “You’re one of the few who put up with me. That’s why I think it’s so strange you’re a fireman, it just doesn’t seem right for you, somehow.” He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one upon the other.”(Bradbury 24). This was when Montag’s identity crisis started to unfold. We immediately see a conflict with his duty to be a member of his society and his inner belief that something isn’t right.

Throughout the novel Ray Bradbury uses fire to symbolise a variety of things in the story, like at the beginning of the novel fire symbolizes destruction. ” It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eten, blackned and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fist, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene… his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning…”(Bradbury 1).

On the very first page, Bradbury presented the symbol fire. In this quote fire is used to symbolize the way fireman react to fire, including Guy Montag. Montag explicitly states that he enjoys watching things “blackned and changed” by fire, thus symbolizes darkness and destruction. As the city burns in the end fire can also symbolize the chance for rebirth like how Granger, the leader of the book people, talks about the phoenix.

When Montag was with Granger and its group in the countryside, there was a bomb that was dropped on Chicago considerably killing many people because of the war that was going on. After this went down, all Granger had to say was “Phoenix”. In Greek mythology, the Phoenix is a bird that has gorgeous red and gold feathers,and is as big as an eagle. The Phoenix recycles its own life. When it senses its near death, the phoenix ignites itself into a magnificent fire killing itself. In time, it rises from its own ashes – reborn, young , and alive.

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