Fahrenheit 451 Phoenix Essay

Fahrenheit 451 Essay

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Ray Bradbury uses many forms of symbolism in his book Fahrenheit 451, but two of the biggest symbols are represented through fire and the phoenix. Fire has more than one meaning in this novel, and it is viewed as dangerous throughout most of the novel. But as the story continues, the reader sees that it can mean so much more. The phoenix bird has symbolized immortality, but for the people in Fahrenheit 451, their only hope was that the phoenix would be burn out, and be reborn again.

The myth of the phoenix gave Guy Montag hope that his dying world would be burnt down and soon rise again from the ashes. These two symbols represent not just destruction and death, but also construction, rebirth, and knowledge. For both the firefighters as well as Montag and his hobo clan, fire symbolizes cleansing. Captain Beatty believes that fire can destroy anything and make problems disappear. He says that they should “Forget them. Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean”.

When Montag sets Beatty on fire he too is attempting to clean something. To him, Beatty symbolizes the whole society that burns books. By burning Beatty and his house, Montag makes it clear he is ready to change and that he wants to cleanse the evil society. When Montag joins the group of “hobos”, he discovers that fire does not only represent destruction but in this instance protection. The campfire in the woods that the hobos ignited provided warmth for them. It was essential for their survival. The phoenix in Fahrenheit 451 symbolizes change, just like fire does.

When Montag is forced to set his own house on fire, an opportunity for Montag to turn around becomes present. From the ashes of his burnt house Montag arises as a new person, similar to what a phoenix does in rises as a new bird. After the bombing of the city, Granger mentions the phoenix and how it symbolizes rebirth. But unlike the phoenix, Granger remarks that the people have the knowledge of what they were doing wrong before everything was burnt down and from that knowledge they can build up a new, better society. The people in Fahrenheit 451 undergo many forms of censorship, one being hat they are reduced to mindlessly watching screens rather than gaining knowledge from books. It takes the whole city being burned down in order to destroy the over-authoritized government in Fahrenheit 451. Before being burned, the people of that society lived their lives completely censored by their government. By when the city is turned to ash, an opportunity to change their society arises. Just like the phoenix rises with new life from the ashes of its old life, the city rises from the ash with an opportunity for new life.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 Essay

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Fahrenheit 451: The Hope Of The Phoenix

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Fahrenheit 451: The Hope of the Phoenix


The word phoenix had symbolize immortality, but for the people in Fahrenheit
451, their only hope was that the phoenix would be burn out, and be reborn again.
The myth of the phoenix gave optimism to the life of Montag, to the books, and
to the world of Fahrenheit 451. The world was now dying, and nobody seemed to
care, because the government had brainwashed the people. It was a situation,
where not only the brave, but the ones who can think for themselves, who can
help break the government's control.

     The life Montag had been a bumpy road. He thought he had a good life,
because he enjoyed his job, and was happy. Soon Montag discovered that he was
not happy at all, and that his life was nothing. His wife Mildred did not love
him at all, and his only friend (that he could remember) Clarisse died in a car
crash. All of sudden, he was not happy, but he did not know why. He thought
maybe because his wife had pulled the fire alarm on him, but really it was he
did not love her at all. "It's strange, I don't miss her at all(155)" Montag
had uncertainly about his marriage, because marriage was suppose to be bonded
with love, but with his marriage love was extinct and nowhere to be seen. His
life had died, when his wife Mildred pulled the alarm and had told the firemen
that Montag had books. To Montag, the books was like a sweet piece of candy.
He did not know why he liked them, but he always wanted more. But when Captain
Beatty forced Montag to burn his own house, Montag's soul had died, but then
resurrected. His life which was suppose to be happy was burning right in front
of his eyes. How ironic, that Montag was a fireman himself but like the phoenix,
Montag rose from his own ashes. Montag was now reborn, because he knew his life
was wrong, and that the world was wrong. He did not know why it was wrong, but
he knew that he had to do something about it. He started that by burning
Captain Beatty into "a charred wax doll(119)". Montag now had the feeling of
hope, not much since he believed he could not do anything. But Montag had now
broken the control of the government and was using the books as his aid.
How ironic, in the real world, people were always talking about how people
wasted paper, which mean wasting trees, but in the world of

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123helpme.com/search.asp?text=fahrenheit">Fahrenheit 451,
every tree that had been cut down, and was use for books was now being burned
away. To the people of Fahrenheit 451 "books show the pores the face of
life,(83)". The people were scared and uncertain about books, so society
decided to hire firemen to burn the books. Although most people were scared of
books, the books acted like their own phoenix by giving people some hope.
People like Montag, and Faber. If it wasn't for the law of prohibiting books,
Montag might have never seen the light, and if wasn't for the old woman burning
herself with books, Montag might have seen what the books actually meant to
people, therefore the books themselves have been reborn. Ironic, that books
were made to be read, but even without reading, Montag was able to see what they
meant to society.

     The world of Fahrenheit 451 WAS quite different from the world now.
Instead of people fighting for equal rights, people were already equal. Equal
in everything from physical abilities to mental abilities. No problem right?
But one constant problem was everyone were always trying to commit suicide.
They tried this, because living in the world of Fahrenheit 451 was like hell,
because nobody was allowed to think, express their ideas, or to enjoy life. It
seemed the world had no hope in changing, because the government thought that
they had destroyed the main force against them, books. But the people
themselves were optimistic about living a better world, and now had formed an
alliance to help restore the world. Montag was one of them, he and many others
believed a new world with individuality. All a sudden the phoenix symbolized
the suicides, the books and hope. If it wasn't for the suicides, the books,
the hope, many people in Fahrenheit 451 would be still living in a nightmare,
because they would live in a world, where they would living a life that was
controlled by someone. Like the old saying goes out of the old and in with the
new really fitted as the motto for the world of Fahrenheit 451 . Many people
were dying because they just wanted to escape from the world, but some believed
that if they die, a new world will be born with individuality, hoping this time
the world would not fly too close to the sun.

     Hope was a word, many people used to help them succeed in something, but
for the people in Fahrenheit 451, the word phoenix was the driving force that
would help them fly over the fire. This was a world, which many people had
hoped to live in, because in this world nothing happened, and that was the
problem. Nothing did happen. Nothing. It was a world where being equal had a
price, a price which many people would never want, their individuality. How
ironic, although the government tried hard to control the people, it was a myth
that came and helped guide the people through the way. A myth that came from
books, that were now being burned. It was a myth which people were not allowed
to read about, but at the end, the myth over came all obstacles and now had
brightened the sun for many. This event had helped proved that not everyone
could every be equal, because there would always be people who would write the
other way.

Written by: Vivian Chan



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