Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451

Underlying Hope

Repetitive symbolism is rampant throughout Fahrenheit 451 and contributes passionately to its iconic status today. There are three specific symbols that Ray Bradbury uses to show the religious essence of his novel and to enhance the meaning of Fahrenheit 451. The main religious symbols are sprinkled throughout the novel and contribute to Guy Montag’s growth as an intellectual and as a member of the corrupt society. The symbols of the snake, the phoenix and the fire, are used in the text to aid Montag’s character development and the overall theme of Fahrenheit 451.

Bradbury stresses the importance of intellectual thought and the ability to act spontaneously throughout the novel. Books are the access points to the intellectual freedom that guy Montag craves. Literature significantly bothers the reader and confronts them with contrasting ideas and opinions. Montag yearns for these contrasting literary ideas and for the ability to think for himself. During the course of Fahrenheit 451, Guy is confronted with problematic threats to himself developing as an intellectual. Society emphasizes the importance of technology in the nation, but Guy strays away from mechanization and attempts to abandon the overdependence on technology. He is forced to withstand the relentless “Mechanical Hound,” but escapes its wrath. This shows Montag’s superiority towards advanced technology. Guy’s elevated intellectual knowledge overcomes even the best machinery in the domain. Intellect is far more essential than technical electronic machinery. This helps promote Guy’s growth and development as an intellectual individual. The force is strong with this one, and Montag proves his force by showing that knowledge overcomes ignorance.

“They had two machines really. One of them slid down into your stomach like a black cobra.” In this instance, the snake is being compared to a devilish figure in society. The color black, distinguishing the cobra, is a representation of its dark nature and evil behavior. The black cobra is reaching into Mildred’s stomach drinking of the darkness within her. The cobra is preventing her from relinquishing her life, and forcing Mildred to endure a horrendous existence. The reptile eats away at her body, forcing Mildred to become increasingly inhuman. This shows the attitude of the reptile and the danger it presents to the population. The community is not necessarily involved with the reptile and the nature it resides within, but it poses a threat to the daily lives of the civilians.

The Garden of Eden is a utopian paradise that is profoundly disrupted by the sinister snake of temptation. In Genesis, Eve is presented with the task of providing provisions for herself and Adam. The snake of temptation confronts Eve and persuades her to pick the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve gives Adam the fruit from the sacred tree and they both ingest it. Soon Adam and Eve are entirely aware of their bare bodies and the world around them. The Lord gains knowledge through his all seeing eyes about their sin. He banishes them from the utopian paradise.

Unlike Genesis, Fahrenheit 451 has an underlying hope for the fraudulent society. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, but in Ray Bradbury’s novel, the remaining intellectuals are presented with the hope for a desirable future. Initially, the intellectuals were banished from the society, but they were once again introduced to the bombed community to rebuild the staircase to a successful future.

And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Ray Bradbury alluded to the section in Genesis for Fahrenheit 451. He uses the sacred tree from Genesis to show great power and strength, but with great...
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