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Montag’s Gradual Change Essay

669 words - 3 pages

In the book , Farenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, there are a lot of symbols present. But, the most omnipresent symbol is the fire symbol. The plot of this book depends solely on this symbol. The reason for this symbol’s importance is that Montag’s changing attitudes reflect the differing meanings of the fire symbol. If one examines the way Bradbury uses the fire symbol to reveal Montag’s attitude towards life and his society, one recognizes that everything has good and bad qualities. It is in also in one’s best interest to take only the good.
At the beginning of the book, the fire symbol represents destruction and reveals Montag’s unquestioning correspondence with society. This can be proven when, the firemen, with 451 (the temperature at which books burn) on their helmets, burn and whole houses and whatever is inside. Corresponding to the other firemen (repetition), Montag thinks it is pleasurable to “bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history”(7). He apparently gets an adrenaline rush from burning and is totally ignorant of whatever he is burning. Also, he seems to pride himself to “burn ‘em to ashes then burn their ashes” (12). As one can see (connecting phrase), firemen are used to create destruction, instead of to combat it, as they do today.
Although fire represents destruction at the beginning of the book, fire reveals a new start for Montag, later on in the book. Montag slowly realizes the utter reality of his so-called utopia. So when Beatty forces Montag to burn his own house, Montag believes that he “cut off its (the room’s) terrible emptiness” (119) , showing his approval of the situation. After his house burns and he gets out, Montag is infuriated by Beatty’s belittling. He then is pushed to the edge when the green bullet is found and Montag’s friend, Faber, is put in danger. Finally (connecting word), Montag gets a new start to his professional life when he...

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