Critical Analysis of Fahrenheit 451

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In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury tells a story about the utopian future where the government controls human identity. In that society there is no place for free thoughts.Those who read are outlawed and sometimes killed. On the first pages of the novel, Juan Jimenez wrote a striking quote:” If they give you ruled paper write the other way”, and that quote pretty much shows the author’s attitude toward public pressure, censorship and oppression. It unquestionably can be stated that without knowledge there is no freedom, books- are the only answer to the demise of the oppressor. The author Bradbury uses a lot of literary devices in his novel.

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The most obvious literary technique is a dialogue. Throughout the book, Bradbury builds up the setting of a story by putting words in character’s dialogue, which in fact may foreshadow an upcoming event, as well as heighten tension and simply reveal the plot. For example, Bradbury creates conflict by introducing Clarisse, a young, antisocial teenager who in fact greatly influenced Montag. On page 27, Clarisse says: “ An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, more sports, but do you know, we never ask question, or at least most don’t; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That’s not social to me at all. “

Clarisse basically tells Montag that she is dissatisfied with the society she lives in. For the first time, the author introduces a person who is unlike everyone else. Not by chance, a girl with opposing ideas and thoughts interacted with herd-mental Montag. Clarisse was the first one who sowed sprouts of doubts and contradictions within Montag, and as a result of that Montag will begin to question himself about the world around him. One the next day, Montag was reported about a house full of books, and a women, who refused to leave her house. In this setting, Bradbury used little bit different strategies called imagery and anthropomorphism. For example, at the culmination moment, Montag said to himself: “The sight of it rushed the men out and down away from the house. Captain Beatty, keeping his dignity, backed slowly through the front door, his pink face burnt and shiny from a thousand fires and night excitements. God, thought Montag, how true! Always at night the alarm comes. Never by day! Is it because the fire is prettier by night? More spectacle, a better show? “ Here Bradbury used plentiful adjectives and literary techniques, therefore he packed this quote with handful of meanings.

First and foremost, the author provides the visual description of objects to help the readers envision the scene and understand the plot. Bradbury used words like: ‘beautiful’, and ‘pretty’ to describe non-living objects as well as stimuli the image in one’s head. This excerpt creates a shocked mood and lefts Montag with even bigger questions. He did not believe his eyes that a person would rather die than leave the books. Not only does Bradbury uses imagery and dialogues to develop the theme, but he also uses metaphor. For instance, when Montag received a call and realized that his house is going to be turned into ashes he said: “You could feel the war getting ready in the sky that night. The way the clouds moved aside and came back, and the way the stars looked, a million of them swimming between the clouds, like the enemy disks and the moon go up in red fire; that was how the night felt. The author used figurative language such as metaphor, as well as simile and personification to create an allusion to the upcoming war and the revival of knowledge and books. This is an important quotation, because Bradbury alludes to the rising tensions that will lead to anarchy. The clouds stand for society, while ‘enemy disks’ represent the oppressive government. Bradbury described moon as red because he referenced to books that are going to be burned in Montag’s house.

This is a very important exception because it creates a theme of despair and it reveals what Montag thinks and believes. Not to mention an extraordinary example of drama, in other words the outcome of accumulated anger that prevailed over Montag. On page 115, Montag revealed that he did not regret himself about killing Captain Beatty: “A shotgun blast went off in his leg every time he put it down and he thought, you’re a fool, a damn fool, an awful fool, an idiot, an awful idiot, a damn idiot, and a fool, a damn fool; look at the mess and where’s the mop, look at the mess, and what do you do? Pride, damn it, and temper, and you’ve junked it all, at the very start you vomit on everyone and on yourself. But everything at once, but everything one on top of another; Beatty, the women, Mildred, Clarisse, everything. No excuse, though, no excuse. A fool, a damn fool, go give yourself up!”

Here Bradbury used a lot of repetition to emphasize the ambiance as well as to make this moment more memorable. Montag creates a contemptuous mood by repeatedly calling himself ‘fool’, and ‘idiot’. He is literally overloaded with everything, with Mildred, Clarisse, and Beatty. This is an important piece because it creates a tragic tone. Montag is portrayed as a sufferer and sinner, however, that was his fate to break the chains that held him as a captive for so long. By killing Captain Beatty, the author made possible the continuation of a story as well as the further thematic enhancement. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 novel is well known for its symbolic interpretation. For example on page 156, Granger said: “There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up. He must have been the first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again.” In this quote the author compared human civilization to a legendary bird. This symbolizes the society in which the story takes place. Granger basically said that humans keep destroying themselves again and again.

Moreover, Montag realized that without knowledge of people’s craving for self-destruction, it would be an impossible task to build a stable society, and that is one of the reasons, why Montag is actively pursuing to advocate the importance of books. The author’s creates a theme of resurgence and the infinite universe of rise and fall. Finally, it would be ignorant not to mention the final quote that was borrowed from the bible: “ 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.”Bradbury hit the bull’s eye when he referred to the Bible to finalize his novel. This quote is stuffed with numerous literary techniques such as imagery, symbolism and pathos. It was taken from Revelation 22:2 that symbolises the tree of life and the immortality of Garden of Eden.

This quotation may be understood from different perspective based on the audience, however, the tree of life may represent the new society, while the fruits- may represent the knowledge and spirituality. The quote as a whole creates a theme of hopefulness and can be interpreted as the renaissance of the human race. Fahrenheit 451 – is not a random title, but is stands for the temperature at which the paper burns. This novel can be described as stressful, dramatic and sometimes depressed. However this book has a rod. The purpose, Bradbury wrote this book is to say that without knowledge there is no freedom. The human ego can only be fueled by inquisitiveness, passion , and one’s willingness to obtain the necessary knowledge. Author made a wise point about human nature. No other creature than humans has the ability to possess knowledge. And only those who truly want to have knowledge will have it, no matter through what obstacles they will go through.

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Critical analysis of Fahrenheit 451. (2022, Jul 03). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from
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