Bradbury’s Use of Symbolism in Dystopian Novel Fahrenheit 451

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Literary devices are techniques of expression that authors use to convey meaning to their story. When used with proper skill, these devices can bring copiousness and clarity to the content (Duckart). Certain literary devices can be applied to both fiction and nonfiction books.

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This essay will show how Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, uses symbolism throughout his novel to provide the reader with a better grasp at deeper understanding and meaning to his novel. More often than not, symbolisms are not obvious and are easily looked over; however, when analyzed in detail, they add new and important dimensions of meaning to the story line. There are many symbolisms used throughout Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, in this paper I will discuss his use of symbolism for fire, river, blood, hearth, sieve, phoenix and mechanical hound. Some of the fore mentioned symbols are very well known to those whom have read the novel more than once. To others, they are milder, which cause individuals to easily miss the connection upon an initial reading of the story. I know I missed many, if not all, literary devices when I was assigned the novel as a summer reading project before I began the eighth grade. Each of these symbolisms have a deeper meaning that we will discuss in greater detail throughout this paper.

Bradbury’s novel is based on books being burned, I felt it was only right to open my paper with the analyzation and discussion of Bradbury’s symbolism of fire, which is used throughout the entire novel. Bradbury opens his novel with an impressive thought that is sure to captivate many readers, ‘It was a pleasure to burn’ (1). Montag took pleasure to witness things burn. To see things blackened and change symbolizes darkness and eradication.

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