Theme Of Fire In Fahrenheit 451

934 Words4 Pages
Fire, the symbol of warmth, destruction, and renewal, is a dominant image in the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Guy Montag, the protagonist, lives in a grim, futuristic United States where people have given up books and knowledge in general for entertainment and instant gratification. The standard use of fire to warm and heat has been replaced to be used for destruction and entertainment. Montag’s job as a fireman clearly shows this, as he is required to burn books and houses. Montag’s understanding of fire and burning as destruction is completely reversed by the end of the book when he regards it as a symbol of warmth and renewal. Montag’s enjoyment of fire and burning is changed through his interactions with Clarisse and…show more content…
We can tell that he wanted to burn his house because “He wanted to change everything, the chairs, the tables, and in the dining room the silverware and plastic dishes, everything that showed that he had lived here…” (Bradbury 116). He wanted to get rid of his old life and all memories of it. Beatty had said “Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean” (Bradbury 60). Beatty told Montag that fire can be used for cleasing – just burn anything that is a problem. Ironically, Beatty is Montag’s problem, so he follows his advice and burns him. With the use of fire, Montag successfully gets rid of his previous life and Beatty, the person who controlled him before. He is having a rebirth in life. After Montag barely escapes the city, the true meaning of fire is shown to him. When he first see the group of hobos with Harvard and Cambridge degrees, they were warming themselves next to a fire talking and sharing ideas, making it a symbol of warmth. The Phoenix, a bird of fire, appears in the end as a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Granger compares mankind to a phoenix when he said, “But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing…” (163). He thinks that humankind has one advantageous trait compared to this bird, and that is learning from its mistakes. Granger wants his group to remember past mistakes to change them. They go on towards

More about Theme Of Fire In Fahrenheit 451

Get Access