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Fahrenheit 451 archetypal analysis

By theblackjok3r-69 Sep 29, 2014 605 Words
Tyriq Coleman
E2 Honors
Begovich

In Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, the use of archetypes contributes to the overall strength of the novel. During when the various times the “light vs dark” archetypes are utilized and when the archetypical death and rebirth occurs to convey the extent of which the novel is strengthened by archetypes.

In Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 the light vs dark archetype helps show to what extent archetypes are used to strengthen the novel when Montag is conversing with Clarisse after Mildred began reading her script. The author states “He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one upon another.”{Bradbury 21}. In this passage Bradbury is showing that inside Montag the light and dark are warring against each other. As light vs dark are opposites the author uses opposites to show the relationship between the two, for example the comparison between cold and hot, the cold represents the dark as darkness is inherently cold as light provides heat. The two parts grinding against each other show to the light and dark at war, as they at odds at one other. Since they cannot coexist the light and dark in this situation refer to the Montag, in that they are his struggle to free himself from the ignorance that is his societal beliefs. The author also states when Clarisse and Montag walk to her house, "When they reached her house all its lights were blazing" (Bradbury 7}. As this may come across as insignificant, in actuality it shows that as Montag only known the other houses to be darker: Clarisse’s house signified a family that were not blind to the ignorance of the society while all the other houses and families are in the dark, figuratively and literally. Using the “light vs dark” archetype Bradbury is able to enhance his work; the archetypes convey meaning to the story and add more to the story for the reader to comprehend.

Furthermore, Bradbury’s novel utilizes an archetype, death and rebirth, to strengthen the story within Fahrenheit 451, this situation occurs after the bombs drop and at the end of part one. The author writes ‘”Here now,’ said Montag ‘We’ll start over again at the beginning.”’ {Bradbury 65}. During this portion the story Montag is explaining the meanings of books to Mildred of who does not see their significance. When Montag says let’s start over , it is not meant mean lets reread the passage but as lets reinvent ourselves and become more self-aware. As opposed to the rest of society, who is ignorant to the fact that books are not something that should be outlawed but something that should be treasured. Books can carry many meaning and here we see Montag trying to tear down, death, Mildred’s old way of thinking and rebuild, rebirth, her with a new and more cognitive way of thinking. Also the text states “But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself burnt all over again.”{Bradbury 156}. Here, after the bombs drop, Montag and the hobos are talking and saying that humans are like a phoenix; they will persevere and come back from hardships, but without the knowledge of the past they are bound to do the same things over again. Montag and the men are saying that if the knowledge in the books is not passed along the world is bound to repeat itself, so they are going to try to bring back the books in hope that tragedy doesn’t happen again.

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