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Imagery in Fahrenheit 451

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Fahrenheit 451 has many illusions some of the most relevant ones being biblical, mythological, literary, and historical. Ray Bradbury uses those allusions to show how the characters in the book relate to the events and literature that happened in the past.

In the book Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury uses Historical allusions to imply that even though the book is not really the issues it has can be related to other issues that have happened in the past. For example “ We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but as everyone made equal” (Bradbury 55) Bradbury shows historical allusion because he is referring back to the constitution which is a real issue in history and it talks about an important American historical document that established fundamental laws and basic rights for its citizens. In the quote, it is trying to imply that they don’t want only the same laws but also that everyone should be the same and no one has more or less advantage over anybody else in any type of way. Another big illusion that Bradbury uses to relate the book to the past is through mythological allusions he uses to represent the corruption in society.

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One example of mythological allusions is when Beatty says “ old Montag wanted to fly near the sun and now that he’s burnt his damn wings, he wonders why”. ( Bradbury 113) Beatty is comparing Icarus to Montag. In Greek mythology is the son of Daedalus, he and his father attempt to escape from Crete where they are trapped. his father constructed some wings from feathers and wax so that his son could escape. When he finished Daedalus warned his son Icarus to not fly too low or too high but Icarus ignored his father’s instructions and got too close to the sun. Because the wings were made of wax they melted leading him to fall spiraling down into the ocean where he drowned. What Beatty means is that both Icarus and Montag defy the rules and limits and therefore causing their own death.

Bradbury also uses biblical allusions 2to show how guy Montag found and tried to spread enlightenment. For example “ where is your common sense? None of those agree with each other. You’ve been locked up for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel.” in this line Beatty is referring to the many books that are stacked up to resemble a tower and by referencing the different opinions expressed in the books. This biblical allusion is important because the people in the bible are trying to build the tower of babel to reach god. The protagonist in Fahrenheit 451is hiding the books that the government banned and is trying to burn to reach his version of god/enlightenment thru free thinking and expression this quote shows society’s lack of appreciation for knowledge. The people in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 aren’t encouraged to share thoughts or ideas because their thoughts are controlled and manipulated by the government and what they see on tv.

The last illusion that Bradbury uses is a literary illusion he uses literary illusion to show the irony of how people yearn for knowledge and yet they burn and despise books. 

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