Symbolism in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Essay example

745 Words3 Pages
Symbolism is a major literary device that helps people see a book through symbols that often have a deeper meaning. A symbol is used to explain something in a different way, using images, objects, etc. instead of just saying it in words. As you search for a deeper meaning in a work of art or literature it can help you understand the author’s intentions and the deeper significance of a work. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, symbols help reinforce the major themes of the book. Fire and flames have been used as symbols by many authors. Fire is representative of Montage. He was a fireman who made fires rather than put them out. He was around them all the time, whether it was around a campfire or burning down a house. Montag and fire were…show more content…
The Hearth and The Salamander, the title of the first chapter, is another symbol. The hearth which provides warmth and comfort and the salamander which is believed to live in fire and not get burned contradict each other. One symbol shows the bad side of fire and the other shows the good side. The salamander was also a symbol on his firefighter’s badge: “He stood in the hall of his house putting on his badge with the orange salamander burning across it.” (19) It was also on the fire trucks he used to make the fires, “They sat there looking out the front of the great Salamander as they turned a corner and went silently on.” (40) Both of these sentences show that the fireman are proud of what the salamander represents, whether it means the same thing or something different, it was important to them.
Mirrors are objects that reflect an image of something in front of it back to a viewer. In Fahrenheit 451 mirrors are also symbols of knowing who you are, reflecting upon yourself, and remembering. In the beginning of the novel Montag didn’t see himself clearly. He saw a reflected image of himself on a piece of shiny glass, “He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror.” (4) In a way he was cocky about himself, especially about being a fireman. By the end things changed. Montag finds out who he really is and comes to believe that he will see himself clearly eventually: “ ‘Come on now, we’re going
Get Access