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White Imagery In Fahrenheit 451 Essay

756 words - 3 pages

People often question their meaning in life, and one theory that frequently comes out of it is that one is born to complete his life mission. Once he discovers his mission, he will fill its demand. It will fill him with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it. In the novel Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury, the main character Guy Montag is a fireman who believes his duty is to burn every book he discovers so he can keep his society away from the dangerous, fearsome knowledge that they do not want. However, under the influence of Clarisse McClellan and Faber, Montag becomes aware that his true life mission is no longer to start fire on books, but rather, to save those books to prove to his community that knowledge is not to be fear, but to be value. By using white imagery, Bradbury demonstrates that people’s view of life can be influenced by others to show us that people can bring out the true quality within you.
In the beginning of the novel, imagery of white is repeated to better introduce a certain type of character. Montag’s wife, Mildred, is a representation of most people in her society. In describing her, Montag explains, “Her face was like a snow-covered island upon which rain might fall, but it felt no rain; over which clouds might pass their moving shadows, but she felt no shadow… (13). Despite the positive connotations readers often have toward the color white, the sickly, pale color shown on Mildred’s face is only a result of her constant refutations to feel and emote toward life because she fears pain. Her ghostly color warns us that she is a character to fear because people do daunting things when they act without thinking. More importantly, her whiteness becomes a warning to Montag which allow him discover that there is something wrong in the way his society has been operating. Regardless of how white is being interpreted on Mildred, this symbolic color takes on a drastic change in order to adjust Montag’s view of life.
In continuing to reveal whiteness, Bradbury demonstrates people’s view of life being influenced by others. When Montag first sees McClellan, he describes her as “…her face was slender and milk-white and in it was a kind of gentle hunger…with...

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