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Farenheit 451 Essay

1046 words - 5 pages

The biggest life decisions can be made by the symbols we see in everyday life. In the novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury, Montag is a fireman in a future dystopia. In this dystopia, the firemen burn books so then the people cannot read them. Montag still decides to read books anyway. He is trying to figure out things about society and why things are the way they are. His neighbor, Clarisse, is a young girl who is filled with curiosity, but is an outcast to the society. Mildred, Montag’s wife, is an example of a conformed citizen. Beatty, the fire captain, is extremely dangerous. He just wants to slow Montag down. Montag eventually meets Faber who teaches him how to be an ...view middle of the document...

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take you hands away” (156). This gives Montag comfort in that it is not fully his fault that he cannot remember his wife. Also, it explains why Montag had wanted to get books while still in the society. He had touched books while extracting them from their hiding places so then he can burn them. His hand had touched the books, and when he takes his hand away, there is still a part of him left there. The books are a part of him as much as the ground beneath his feet. Hands shape who we are as individuals. What we touch and create becomes another part of ourselves. Our hands are our conscience and constructs who we are.
Another primary symbol used throughout the book is water and is used to represent an escape from destruction. In this part, Montag is confused after being questioned by Clarisse and, “... as he walked, he tilted his head back in the rain for a few moments, and opened his mouth...”(24). Montag lets in clarity and puts his destructive side within. He is trying to find the truth and not be stopped by censorship. Also in the another passage, Montag leaves the society and finds safety in a, “...river... it held him comfortably...” (140). The river helps Montag put out the destructive fire within himself. It suits him perfectly. He is part water, part fire. The water makes Montag see things more clearly and find the veracious reality. He escapes the city where everything is destructive. The river hides nothing and later influences Montag even further to find what is the truth. The river clarifies what is happening to Montag and what choices he should make.
Most importantly, fire is used as a primary symbol that illustrates the destructive and creative light it can...

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