Literary Analysis of the metaphors found in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In this age of modernity and
technological innovation, Fahrenheit 451 is viewed as a crucial tool from
different perspectives ranging from relations between humanity to technological
dimensions. Fahrenheit 451 talks about the materialistic society that has
disregarded social interaction with each other. The community has been
submerged into technological innovations forgetting the relevance of written

As such, metaphors are used
in this novel to compare two ostensibly opposite things that may be having
similar characteristics or associations. In the book Fahrenheit 451, Ray uses
metaphors to express various sentiments and perceptions humorously.

Precisely, the identified
metaphors in Fahrenheit 451 deepens the understanding of the important themes
and make this novel so captivating. Some of the metaphors that can be found in
Fahrenheit 451 is subsequently stipulated:


Ray Bradbury uses Salamander
to represent the bravery of firemen in the current societal setup. The author
uses Salamander to epitomise the dilapidated condition of the government. The
society described, though relatively modern, is slowly moving towards
dictatorship and primitivism.

For instance, in the book,
the author is continuously cautioning the reader of the existing eventualities
of the dystopian community under the stewardship of a dictatorship
administration government and ignorant government sycophants. This change is
seen from the censorship, and media mediocrity witnessed in today’s societies.
In the book, we can see that the media is used to suppress the minds of the
populace and the government are the primary beneficiaries.

The sieve and the sand

Bradbury uses this imagery to
illustrate Montag’s primary objective of acquiring and retaining the knowledge
he obtains from the books. He equates the education that he receives from books
with sand falling through a sieve with little being preserved in mind.

Postulated merely, Bradbury
uses sand to symbolize the palpable truth that Montag is seeking from the books.
Similarly, the sieve is figuratively used to compare the human mind that is
continually trying to acquire and retain knowledge that is so elusive.


Granger gives an analogy of
humanity and Phoenix that resurfaced after the bombing incidence. Just like the
phoenix incidence, man has the intrinsic ability to identify and learn from
past mistakes. The author is metaphorically comparing phoenix’s rebirth to the
renaissance of humanity.


Bradbury applies various
references to nature to represent societal truths. This is mainly explained by
the lifestyle of the wandering resistance who experience reality from their
coexistence with nature.

Television and Seashells (ear-radios)

Television is used in the
novel to represent superficiality of Bradbury’s society. Most of the homes are
also installed on Government TV screens and security systems. The TVs are
used primarily for entertainment purposes and watching programs that are increasing
and improving the publicity of the ruling administration.

The government is using
seashells to spread and promote its propaganda and agenda. The seashells depict
a society that has lost sight of the reality of government misdemeanors. Bradbury’s
point is that the society is becoming intellectually irrelevant, and this is a
very accurate observation.

This lack of knowledge is witnessed in today’s society where instead of reading a book or learning a
new hobby during their free time, most people will prefer to watch television
or some other unnecessary form of entertainment. This preference is compared to
a situation is seen in the book where Guy Montag’s wife Mildred, spends much of
her free time with “seashell ear thimble” in her ears.


Bradbury Beatty to represent
government censorship among other related evils. For example, he implements
government’s decision to burn books to regulate knowledge. This is also
portrayed in the novel where the government directed that literary works and
properties of books owners be burnt down immediately.


In the novel, Bradbury uses
the mirror to emphasize the inherent for self-understanding and
self-reflection. For instance, Granger insists that the society should
construct a mirror company to enhance self-reflection while Montag metaphorically
describes Clarisse as a mirror.

In general, the novel
portrays a dystopian society that does not allow literature and limits free
thinking. The book shows that our community could become like the society from
Fahrenheit 451 by adapting to its examples of a tradition that is based on
continued entertainment, a demeaning manner of family and an oppressive
government. Ray uses metaphors to explain how the contemporary society
functions clearly.

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