In the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury writes of character Guy Montag who lives in a time where society has the belief that reading books is wrong. A society where Montag’s job is to burn these forbidden books, to rid them from the people. That’s all well until Clarisse, his young neighbor, makes him question why things are the way they are. She makes him question everything, even his marriage with Mildred, and his captain, Baety, who demand that books all be burned. In all of this confusion Montag finds Faber, an elderly man possessing a love for books who pushes Montag to question and seek answers to his wondering mind. Bradbury uses symbols throughout the novel to point out society’s many corruptions and faults.
In a society where books are burned, and a mindless man is the government’s goal, their two greatest weapons are disguised as what seems like harmless technology. Bradbury uses the seashells within the novel as a symbol to represent the depth and importance the government places on the effects of propaganda. As Montag comes home from work he notices just how effective these seashells of propaganda truly are when he sees “His wife stretched on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body displayed on the lid of a tomb, her eyes fixed to the ceiling by invisible threads of steal, immovable. And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind. The room was indeed empty...There had been no night in two years that MIldred had not swam that sea...” (12). Through the dependency Mildred has on the seashells Bradbury shows how easily the government makes it’s citizens numb and mindless, thus exposing the corrupt society. Bradbury uses the parlor family as another symbol to represent superficiality. This is an example of another tactic the government utilizes to create a society of mindless men. The parlor...
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