Meaning Of Fire In Fahrenheit 451

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Pages: 6

In writing many authors use symbolism to display a deep meaning and or convey the theme in their story in a slightly discreet way. Ray Bradbury utilizes the same technique in the novel Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury tells the story of a fireman named Guy Montag who lives in a defective society during the twenty-first century. Montag starts to question his job and life itself as he goes through various obstacles trying to find a true meaning in life after encountering two characters, Clarisse and Faber. As the protagonist progresses through the story, we see the motif of fire transition from meaning destruction to meaning warmth and rebirth. In the beginning of the novel, fire is depicted as destruction. For instance, on the very first page of the …show more content…
After his magnificent escape from the destructive society, Montag realizes the new meaning of fire and now feels relieved and free. For instance, while arriving to a new town Montag spots a fire. At first he is very cautious to approach the fire due to his past experiences with it. However, he quickly gets rid of his fear and becomes aware of the change in meaning. “It was not burning, it was warming… he hadn’t known fire could look this way, he had never though in his life that it could give as well to take” (145). This quote is vital to the novel as it shows that Montag has finally come to a realization and knowledge of the new meaning of fire. This is also the moment where the readers and Montag realizes that he has gone through an epiphany. After living in a dysfunctional society where everyone uses fire to destroy and burn things that they deem dreadful, he is surprised and shocked to see that fire can give off warmth and optimism to people. Shortly afterwards, Montag meets a gentleman named Granger who had also escaped from the city. Granger helps the transition the motif of fire meaning destruction to meaning rebirth by explaining and comparing humans to the Phoenix. “There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up….But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again and it looks like we’re doing the same thing” says Granger (163). This quote is arguably the most important one in the novel. By comparing the past destructive city along with the phoenix, Granger helps Montag gain more knowledge about life and his society. Granger explains that the destruction of their past city and society is actually a convenient and good incident. Later on Granger makes it clear that they should learn from their society’s recent mistakes, which was to block