Fahrenheit 451- Analyse how symbolism was used to convey an interesting idea in an extended written text
in Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, the symbolism of authoritarianism, censorship and brainwashing is present throughout the novel with event/things such as the Hound, burning of books, Mildred’s overdose and the lack of public knowledge about the war that the main character Montag finds on his journeys. In the novel, it shows the authoritarianism and censorship the government can place on its people.
The main character, Montag is a fireman but in this dystopia instead of putting out fires he makes fires, predominantly burning books. Books are illegal and anyone caught with one is sentenced to punishment, this is to censor information from the public. This symbolism of sensory represents ideas and qualities of a future world where the government is fully in power and how we could be slowly making our way to this dystopia.
Throughout the novel, there are hints and signs of a war with events such as jetplanes flying over the city and the ending explosive dropped on the city and the quote of ‘A radio hummed somewhere. ‘…war may be declared any hour. This country stands ready to defend its-‘ The firehouse trembled as a great flight of jet planes whistled a single note across the black morning sky.’. In our world, if we heard this the country would be drenched in anxiety and everyone would hide in preparation or fight. This is an example of how the community Montag lives is so distracted that even things such as war being declared shows no interest from the public eye.
In Fahrenheit 451 there are future technologies such as mechanical defensive hounds, news reporting drones, and attack drones. One technology is shown when Mildred, Montag’s wife “accidentally” overdoses on sleep pills. Mildred is addicted to her online life, a virtual reality in which she interacts with her online “family”.