Symbolism is a major literary device that helps people see a book through symbols that often have a deeper meaning. A symbol is used to explain something in a different way, using images, objects, etc. instead of just saying it in words. As you search for a deeper meaning in a work of art or literature it can help you understand the authors intentions and the deeper significance of a work. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, symbols help reinforce the major themes of the book.
Fire and flames have been used as symbols by many authors. Fire is representative of Montage. He was a fireman who made fires rather than put them out. He was around them all the time, whether it was around a campfire or burning down a house. Montag and fire were very close and almost part of each other. In the beginning of the book Montag is shown to love fire, It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. (3) He didnt perceive it to be bad and destructive thing. But in a larger sense, Montag did identify fire with warmth and spirit.
By the end of the book Montag had gone through a tremendous change. He looked at life in a new way. When Montag escaped from the world of book burning he discovered the book people sitting around a campfire in the woods, Montag walked slowly toward the fire and the five old men sitting there dressed in the dark-blue shirts. He did not know what to say to them. Sit down, said the man who seemed to be the leader of the small group. (147) the campfire represents warmth but it also represents the spirit and strength Montag had to start his new life as a book person.
A salamander is described in the book as a mythical lizard that can live in fire. The salamander represents Montags life as a firefighter. It shows that he can tolerate fire and come out fine. The Hearth and The Salamander, the title of the first chapter, is another symbol. The hearth which provides warmth and comfort and the salamander which is believed to live in fire and not get burned contradict each other. One symbol shows the bad side of fire and the other shows the good side. The salamander was also a symbol on his firefighters badge: He stood in the hall...