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Weathering the Flame in Fahrenheit 451

            Whether you are keeping warm in the wild or watching your house or workplaces go to ashes in a matter of minutes, fire is something we can all relate to. To most, fire can resemble warmth and safety, while to others in can represent devastation or death, therefore making it ambiguous. Mr. Ray Bradbury depicts this in his novel Fahrenheit 451. He does this by using Montag's forever changing mental and physical relationship to society. At first, Montag's personal symbol of fire is it just being a devastating and destructive force, but later on in the novel realizes the warmth and safety of it.
             In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury gives us a first taste of fire in the very first chapter. Along with giving us Montag's narrow-minded mindset towards society, he also gives us the image of Montag burning a bunch of books with Montag being quoted saying "it was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten and to see things blackened and changed." (Bradbury 3). "Venomous", "death" is just a couple of descriptive adjectives Bradbury used to describe the burning process of the novels. This just goes to show the raw nature of being a fireman, which is Montag's profession. While his profession is of one that brings him great joy, it also brings some destructive actions out of him. When thinking about an object being burned, remember that it cannot be "unburned". Burning is an irreversible action and absolutely destroys whatever is being burned. In saying that, Bradbury uses fire to get rid of the books to symbolize society's demand to do away with text literature that provide knowledge and ideas. The old saying, ignorance is bliss and the fear of unhappiness dictates all aspects of life, has never been more true than it is depicted in this novel. Society believes their fire "is bright and.clean", which is just used to self-satisfy, keeping them happy and oblivious to the true meaning.

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