Fahrenheit 451: Signs
Fahrenheit 451: Symbols Ray Bradbury incorporates many different signs in his book, Fahrenheit 451; they include the Mechanical Hound, books, the mirror factory, Clarisse and a couple of other characters. A sign, normally an item or an action, represents something with a deeper meaning. Among the main signs in the book, fire, represents 2 completely opposite things; in reality, one views it as destructive and the other as enlightening. From the firefighters’s perspective, fire signifies destruction and power. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the idea of what came next, he flicked the igniter and your house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black” (3 ). In this passage, fire symbolizes the fantastic power the firefighters have and the damaging nature of fire; they ruthlessly burn down homes and even do it in a joking manner as in advances to state that he wanted to “push a marshmallow on a stick in the heating system” (3 ).
Another proof of the harmful nature of fire is represented in the scene where the female decides to die instead of live without books (40 ). The fire not just burnt books and homes, but it also triggered the death of individuals like Beatty. “And then he was a shrieking blaze, a leaping, sprawling gibbering manikin, no longer human or recognized, all twisting flame on the lawn as Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on him” (119 ). In my viewpoint, this passage best depicts the disastrous power of fire because it describes how the fire changed Beatty into something “no longer human”.
The other, not as obvious, depiction of fire is one of comfort and awareness. Montag begins to understand this side of fire as he talks to Clarisse and looks at her face. “One time, as a kid, in a power failure, his mother had actually found and lit a last candle and there had actually been a brief hour of rediscovery, of such lighting that space lost its large dimensions and drew comfortably around them, and they, mother and boy, alone, transformed, hoping that the power may not come on once again too soon” (7 ).
This reference of fire says that it, when utilized, has the capability to bring a group of people close together and provide comfort. Another instance where fire brought comfort was when Montag satisfied the guys on the railroad tracks collected around the heart-warming fire. “That small movement, the white and red color, a stranger fire since it meant a different thing to him. It was not burning. It was warming” (145 ). The ex-fireman lastly understands that fire does not only burn down houses and books, however it can likewise offer a sense of peace and consistency.
Bradbury utilizes symbols like fire since it suits the simple story of how firefighters used fire to damage books but also explains a much deeper significance of how fire has two different sides. He did a very good task of using symbols because he used different characters and items in the story to provide the style of censorship and the conflict in between understanding and lack of knowledge. The exact same symbols, specifically fire, would absolutely work in 2013 as fire still has the capability to cause devastating damage however also produce peace and comfort among people.