Essay on Fahrenheit 451 Sybolism of Fire

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The Symbolism of Fire Fahrenheit 451 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. Fire has multiple meanings in Fahrenheit 451, and is usually symbolized as something to be feared. Throughout the novel, fire is something that people do not want, even though it can be so much more than a bad thing. Fire can represent knowledge and awareness, rebirth and construction, as well as destruction. Fire is depicted, throughout history, as a symbol of knowledge and awareness. Fire is usually a symbol that appears in novels right at a time when the main character has an epiphany or realizes…show more content…
It is said in ancient Greek and Roman mythology that burning the body helps the soul to be purified and pass on to the afterlife. Though fire can represent knowledge and rebirth, it is mainly depicted as a destructive force. In the novel fire is used to burn books which are knowledge. By burning this knowledge the society was kept in a confined situation where the amount of knowledge in everyone is evenly distributed. “It was a pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. (Bradbury 3)” This quotation shows Montag’s feelings towards burning in the beginning of the novel. Fire destroyed the books. Fire destroyed homes. Fire destroyed the light in everyone. The fire was not only used to destroy things but it kept the people of society in line. The fire may have been represented as a disciplinary tool. By having a constant source of the fire, people had fear distilled in them from the start. This made them subconsciously obedient even though they seemed to be insubordinate. The overall theme of fire in Fahrenheit 451 is a feeling of destruction. With the right surroundings and intentions it was used for so much more than that. It was used as a way to exhibit knowledge. Above all, though the depiction of destruction is very influential, and the representation of knowledge is somewhat there, the most important symbolism of fire in the novel

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