Sand and the Sieve

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Levi Eggers

Mr. Smith

English 10D

4/21/12

Symbolism Essay

Throughout Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury many examples of symbolism come up. While some are more literal than others they all have important meaning to the story. The most important though may be the symbolistic meaning of the sand and sieve.

The sand and the sieve is first introduced when Guy Montag remembers the nasty trick his cousin played on him as a child. He tells about his experience of trying the impossible task to fill a sieve with sand for a dime. Then when Montag was on the train going back home he tried to read the Bible as fast as he could. He was doing this in hope that he would remember some of it yet he failed. The meaning of the sieve and the sand in the story is implying the incapability of peoples’ minds at that time to grasp what they don't understand . This means peoples’ minds are like the sieve and what they don't understand is the sand. It is impossible to fill a sieve with sand because the sand will just pass through. This is what Bradbury is implying with this use of symbolism. During our time people are able to understand and learn due to the presence of books. But during Montag’s life nobody is able to learn because they don't have books. So Bradbury is saying that without books we would not be able to learn. That is what the sieve and the sand mean in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
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