Essay on Rhetorical Analysis Of Ray Bradbury 's Fahrenheit 451

714 Words Nov 5th, 2016 3 Pages
Ray Bradbury brilliantly employs the element of symbolism to chronicle fire’s diverse role in his novel Fahrenheit 451. In the novel’s futuristic setting, the term “fireman” refers to those whose occupation is to destroy every printed document possible using kerosene and flame. The government has given jurisdiction to these firemen to destroy not only the documents, but also the homes of those found to possess printed works. The novel’s protagonist, Guy Montag, is one of the firemen entrusted to eradicate these documents. However, as Montag’s dynamic character develops he experiences revelations leading to new perceptions of fire. In Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury encompasses the plot with symbolic implications of fires’ contribution to destruction, serenity, and resurrection. The destructive symbolism of fire is illustrated as Bradbury introduces the “new” duties of firemen to the audience. Montag explains, “It’s fine work, Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ‘em to ashes then burn the ashes. That’s our official slogan” (Bradbury 6). This signifies the obligation of a fireman is not only to destroy literature with fire, but also to destroy any evidence that it existed. In his article “Making Fire Mean More Than Fire” Alan Lenhoff reflects this point stating, “The fireman feels powerful when he causes things to change. And what Montag changes is the past itself: the charcoal ruins of history” (Lenhoff 1). Destructive symbolism…

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