Fahrenheit 451-Symbolism

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Throughout English literature there are a number of authors who use symbolism to get a point across to the reader. Symbolism is a chance for the author to show the reader instead of tell. The futuristic book Fahrenheit 451 is a novel based around symbolism and ulterior meanings. Water and fire are symbols commonly used in all types of literature. These elements are especially apparent in mythology. Also, within the novel the parlor walls proved themselves to be more than what was initially apparent. These symbols give this book a very specific tone and mood. In the beginning of the novel, Montag's wife was fascinated by the parlor walls. She disregarded the fact that one wall was a large portion of Montag's salary. These walls, which constantly keep Mildred amused, are more than just a physical barrier between the couple. The walls represent her close-mindedness toward her husband and the reality that is their present society. These walls can also be thought of as an obstruction which Montag has to conquer, in order to have the simple freedoms his civilization does not offer. Their society is completely devoid of all intuitive thought whatsoever. When he was sick, he asked his wife to turn off the parlor walls and she refused, because the "walls" had more importance than his comfort. Clearly, the parlor walls were a symbol for a barrier which Montag had to overcome to discover his true identity. Ray Bradbury also uses the symbol of water to show a sense of rebirth within Montag. When someone is baptized in water it symbolizes and "new self image", much like Montags quick stop where he "washed his hands and face and toweled himself dry," (125) while on the run from the government. This symbolizes Montag's desire for renewal and change within himself from his previous shallow existence. Water is also the opposite element of fire, which is ironic, because fire was the element which Montag worked with everyday of his adult life. Furthermore, the river was a safe...
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