Fahrenheit 451-Symbolism Essay

645 Words Nov 18th, 2006 3 Pages
Throughout English literature there are a number of authors who use symbolism to get a point across to the reader. Symbolism is a chance for the author to show the reader instead of tell. The futuristic book Fahrenheit 451 is a novel based around symbolism and ulterior meanings. Water and fire are symbols commonly used in all types of literature. These elements are especially apparent in mythology. Also, within the novel the parlor walls proved themselves to be more than what was initially apparent. These symbols give this book a very specific tone and mood.
In the beginning of the novel, Montag's wife was fascinated by the parlor walls. She disregarded the fact that one wall was a large portion of Montag's salary. These walls, which
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Montag's out of body sensation while in the water also shows a relationship with the water, connecting back to how water is used as a symbol of purity and the beginning of a new life in the Christian faith. Montag now has a deep connection with water, instead of his previous infatuation with fire, which gave him pleasure to burn and destroy.
Fire is often associated with devastation and chaos within history and mythology. Beatty is closely associated with fire after the books he reads do not satisfy his dark side; meaning he consciously chooses to "cleanse" the books in fire, knowing the repercussions of his actions. Fire, in this book symbolizes the sinister side of human nature within this novel. When fire burns, all that is left is ashes. Much like the people's mentality, those who lived within this society after years of government conditioning were left with a vacant mind. When Montag chooses to quit his profession as a fireman, it reflects that his mind has transformed himself into an intellectual thinking person. Fire is no longer the nucleus of his existence.
Bradbury has shown us a glance of what may become our future. These ideas, even in today's world, have a greater meaning. Bradbury's idea of future unfortunately is not far off from our reality. Through symbolism, he allows the readers to extrapolate in a way most books do not offer. One has only to look at current events in our world where symbols – flags, innuendo or even cartoons have caused

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