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Filed under Fahrenheit 451

Loss of values leaves a person with Nothing

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         Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 stays true to leaving room for multiple interpretations along with several themes. His use of rhetorical strategies help to support his intent with the novel creating a balance between characters and events. Everyone in society holds his own morals; having morals shows an individual finds meaning in life. A loss of values and beliefs leaves a person with nothing left.

        Bradbury uses an impacting technique called a motif. The recurring theme of mirrors emphasizes the need for an individual to examine himself. Becoming aware of himself, Montag experiences struggles with the society around him. Growing up, children learn not to think for themselves; society becomes blinded form figuring out who they are themselves. The occurrence leads to the limitation of seeing society is unhappy. Clarisse and the firemen symbolize mirrors making Montag acknowledge the reality of the world. Mirrors act as the wake up call for society to see and change itself. Mildred portrays a loss of morals when her husband tries to talk to her, but the televisions occupy her attention.She refuses to accept sharing her feelings and thoughts to Montag. The scene shows she remains empty due to her actions including overdosing on sleeping pills.

         The use of an analogy works Montag’s memory in understanding the relationship between the human mind and knowledge. While taking a bus, he remembers using a sieve to sift through sand. The faster he poured the sand, the faster sand sifted through. He acknowledges sand as knowledge and the sieve as the human mind. He states when knowledge becomes abruptly poured into the mind, the brain cannot hold onto it. I personally agree with the statement because every person’s brain works differently. Some people hold the capability of photographic memory; others need times and practice before remembering something right off the bat. Montag relates to the understanding of how society “thinks”; society lives controlled by the government. The censorship of books limits others from gaining new knowledge leaving the opportunity to process information practically impossible. Montag faces the issue when trying to read a book and comprehend it. He seeks to get help from Faber because his brain acts as if it is in toxic shock. His mind never learns to take in and sift knowledge until he receives help. The situation relates with the thesis because Montag had nothing before being shown what seems to be a whole new world for him.

        Irony plays the role of portraying contradicting events. The firemen refer to Benjamin Franklin as the very first fireman. The ironic thing represented is that Benjamin Franklin did associate with fire brigades, but he stopped fires instead of starting them. The assumption shows the firemen view and important person with such a greedy deed. The title of the first part in the book also proves society to be selfish and controlled. The hearth represents home, and the salamander represents the myth of being able to live in fire along with firemen. Fireplaces may reside in the homes of society, but the symbol does not guarantee the people’s view on what home actually represents. Televisions cover the walls on the insides of homes; the government controls what people watch. Parents lock their children in rooms with televisions to let them do their job instead. Mildred, for example, becomes one with the tv’s. She ignores others around her, and she finds comfort within the families on the screen rather than her own. The thesis relates to the event because it shows much control overtakes society. The people conform to the same routines and governmental forces devoiding them of ever feeling something personally.

        The struggles and vulnerability of a society leads to one’s emptiness. Ray Bradbury’s novel shows proof of how a society will act when controlled. He presents several themes and allows room for curiosity. The most prominent theme he teaches is the importance of having morals and beliefs.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Loss of values leaves a person with Nothing