Symbolism In "Fahrenheit 451" By Ray Bradbury

1192 words - 5 pages

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 depicts the struggle of a fireman in a world of equality through censorship. Guy Montag's troubled character is conflicted with feelings of conformity and a longing to find the truth. People often fall into the trap of disillusionment, digging themselves into a hole much too large to handle. Trapped in his own ignorance his whole life, Guy Montag bound by his duty as a fireman finally is disgusted with being content and feels the need to escape. Ray Bradbury's message is that disillusionment is a good thing when it encourages escape from undesirable conditions.Disillusionment in Montag's life is caused by government control of consequences; in Fahrenheit 451 ...view middle of the document...

If only they could have taken her mind along to the dry cleaner's and emptied the pockets and steamed and cleansed it and re-blocked it and brought it back in the morning..." (30; pt.1). Wishing he had an understanding spouse because part of his unhappiness is due to his ignorant simple minded wife.Once living a life of destruction fear comes into play for Montag; he realizes that he's slowly changing his views on being a fireman. He is also afraid of what the consequences of this new line of thinking will bring. Fear is the weapon that firemen use to enforce the control of society. Their weapon is fire, and it is a constant threat to anyone who steps outside of the accepted norms of society. Montag realizes that he is weaving outside of the lines of proper behavior, and he is afraid that someone will notice and punish him for it. Fear runs the thoughts of those who know the truth. When talking to Montag Beatty states: "Forget them. Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean."(60; pt.1). In fear of being unhappy Betty avoids confrontation with unhappy thoughts he chooses to be ignorant and accept the laws laid down in front of him rather than seek the truth letting the fear of change control him. When Montag says: "Nobody listens any more. . . I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough, it'll make sense." (82; pt.2) he fears the world will not understand; he fears that he will be persecuted if he stands up for what he believes in.Fire plays duel roles in Fahrenheit 451, one being destructive and the other a vessel for escape. Ray Bradbury opens the book with the following words: "It was a pleasure to burn."(3; pt. 1).The fireman's responsibility was to burn books, and therefore destroys knowledge. Through these actions, the firemen promote ignorance to maintain a level of similarity throughout society. Fire was used to destroy information, wisdom, intelligence, it demolished books, it ruined houses, it murdered people, and in essence it destroyed life. Knowledge was the key to the door in which no one knew how to open. The door leading to a path of understanding but only would...

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