Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Living in a world with no free thought would be bland as cardboard. But, if that cardboard illuminated with fire, would it have more meaning than it did before? The answer is yes. In the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the main character, Montag, finds much meaning behind the simple element of fire. The symbol of fire is used to represent how Montag changes himself and his ideas and thoughts about fire throughout the novel. At first, Montag views fire as destructive, but enjoys burning because he sees the power of his job as a fireman. After meeting Clarisse, Montag begins to understand how fire can be seen as comfort. In the end, Montag realizes that fire can be cleansing and can be symbolic of hope and passion. Montag learns many things through his journey to find who he really is. Montag is first intrigued with the desolation left by fire. “While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning” (Bradbury 2). Montag destroys the one thing that could bring him clear thoughts mindlessly. He even finds joy in destroying the books because of the mysterious ways in which fire burnt. “...he [Montag] would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered” (Bradbury 2). Burning gives Montag a sense of accomplishment, since there is really no other way to achieve success in a mental sense. He finds joy in the work he does, even though

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