Analysis Of Symbolism In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

In the book “Fahrenheit 451” there is a lot of important symbolism. The symbolism is very important in understanding this book. For example the 451 on the fireman’s helmet is the temperature at which fire burns. This is important because this book is based in a dystopian civilization. In this civilization the “fireman” actually, start fires they burn books to prevent the people of their civilization from getting fantasies about how life “used” to be. This is just one of the many examples of the important symbolism in the book.

The first part of the book is called “The Hearth and the Salamander”. The name of this part of the book has a lot of symbolism in it. The word Hearth which also means fireplace is commonly a symbol of the home. The world Salamander is one of the symbols for firetrucks or firemen. Guy Montag also has a tattoo of a Salamander as stated “But he knew his mouth had only moved to say hello, and then when she seemed hypnotized by the salamander on his arm.” Salamanders were also once believed to live in a fire or be unaffected by fire. This title relates to the image of fire in Guy Montag’s life as shown in the first part of the book.

The second part of the book is called “The Sieve and the Sand”. The name of this chapter is from Guy Montag’s childhood. It is based on a story Guy Montag tells us about his childhood. He compares the story from his childhood to when he was trying to read the bible as fast as he could on the subway. In the story, he tells us that his cousin says “Fill this sieve and you'll get a dime! `And the faster he poured, the faster it sifted through with a hot whispering. His hands were tired, the sand was boiling, the sieve was empty”. This story represents the symbolism in this chapter as the sand is the truth Guy Montag seeks, and the sieve being the human mind seeking the truth that seems impossible to find.

At the end of the novel, there is important symbolism. This symbolism is shown when Granger says “Come on now, we're going to go build a mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them”. Granger says this because he believes all of mankind needs to take a long look in the mirror. This also recollects Montag’s description of Clarisse as a mirror in part one of the book. The mirrors in this story are symbolic because they represent seeing oneself clearly.

The book Fahrenheit 451 has a lot of important symbolism in it. I believe this symbolism is crucial in understanding the book completely. I believe this because it creates a deeper understanding of what you have read. For example “The Hearth and the Salamander” this title has a lot of symbolism in it that may be hard to understand the book if not broken down into what each word means and how it relates back to the story. This is why I believe the symbolism in the book Fahrenheit 451 is a very crucial part in understanding the story.  

16 December 2021
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