Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451

1468 Words Oct 21st, 1999 6 Pages
Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury, perhaps one of the best-known science fiction, wrote the amazing novel Fahrenheit 451. The novel is about Guy Montag, a ‘fireman’ who produces fires instead of eliminating them in order to burn books (Watt 2). One night while he is walking home from work he meets a young girl who stirs up his thoughts and curiosities like no one has before. She tells him of a world where fireman put out fires instead of starting them and where people read books and think for themselves (Allen 1). At a bookhouse, a woman chooses to burn and die with her books and afterwards Montag begins to believe that there is something truly amazing in books, something so amazing that a woman would kill herself …show more content…
Thirdly, the Mechanical Hound is a meaningful symbol. The narrator describes the hound as follows, “the Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live…it was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that overrich nectar, and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself” (24). At the beginning of the novel, Montag greatly fears the hound and says, “it doesn’t like me”(26), but towards the end of the novel he overcomes his fear and kills it. The Mechanical Hound represents the fear of government that the state has instilled upon the people of their futuristic society. The hound has no emotions and its purpose in being is to make one afraid or to kill someone. The Mechanical Hound is Bradbury’s chief image of technology (Wolfe 70). In addition to fire, burning, and the hound, Montag’s hands become another consequential and reoccurring symbol in the novel. At the beginning of the novel, Montag’s “self-aggrandizing” hands are a reflection of his emptiness (McGiveron 1). When Montag steals two books the narrator describes what has happened as, “Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand, with a brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling finger, had turned thief” (37). Montag reflects his conscience and curiosity

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