In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses several literary devices in his novel. He uses many powerful symbols and allusions, such as biblical, mythological, and historical references. An allusion is a literary device in which the writer or speaker refers either directly or indirectly to a person. Bradbury uses this to obtain the relationship between the book and to make connections to biblical and historical references. The protagonist in the book, Guy Montag, is a fireman whose job is to burn books, because books are prohibited in his society, instead of putting out the fires. Montag lives in a dystopian society where people’s interaction is uncommon. While Ray Bradbury uses a range of literary elements to develop his argument about the nature of books, thought, and humanity in Fahrenheit 451 his most powerful tools are symbolism and allusion.
One of the most powerful tools that Ray Bradbury uses in Fahrenheit 451 is symbolism. One of the main symbols that he uses in the whole novel is the story of a phoenix. A phoenix is a bird that is able to burn, but then it rises out of the ashes to live another life. The phoenix is also the logo on the helements of the firemen. “There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix before Christ, every few hundred years he build a pyre and brunt himself up, he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over, and it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the phoenix never had” (Bradbury 156). Bradbury uses the symbol of the phoenix because it sparks a new era. Granger compares humanity to a phoenix at the end of the book because civilians are making distruction to themselves, then afterwards rebuilding a new civilization, just like how the phoenix will rise out of the ashes. Montag is hoping to rebuild a new society.
Another most powerful tool that Ray Bradbury uses in Fahrenheit 451 is allusions. Bradbury uses the Book of Ecclesiastes to show Guy Montag’s growth of his wisdom. “The Book of Ecclesiastes would be fine. Where was it? ‘Here.’ Montag touched his head. ‘Ah.’ Granger smiled and nodded. ‘What’s wrong? Isn’t that all right?’ said Montag. ‘Better than all right; perfect!’”(Bradbury 150). Ecclesisates is a book of the Old Testament that was written by King Solomn. The Old Testament is a book filled with a lot of wisdom literature. In Fahrenheit 451, it shows Montag’s growth throughout the book. It started from Montag being the fireman that just burns without hesitation, to the literature loving protagonist at the end of the book. Ecclesiastes, it states that wisdom increases sorrow. “For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow”(Ecclesiastes 1:16). Another allusion in the Book of Ecclesiastes is one of the passages that Montag is trying to memorize in the book. ‘Nothing. I thought I had part of the Book of Ecclesiastes and maybe a little of Revelation, but I haven’t even that now.’ The key passage in the Book of Ecclesiastes is, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”(Ecclesiastes 3:1). Bradbury uses it to explain the conflict that Montag experiences throughout the book. The first conflict that Montag ever faces is his purpose of his life. The second conflict that Montag faces is his willingness to change.
Ray Bradbury uses many powerful allusions to develop his argument about the nature of books, thought, and humanity in Fahrenheit 451. In “The Sieve and the Sand ”, Montage begins to read the Book of Job, a biblical story of Job. “In Fahrenheit 451, Faber begins to read The Book of Job to Montag. He reads him the biblical story of Job because the story relates to Montag’s life.”Far away across town in the night, the faintest whisper of a turned page. “The Book of Job.” Faber specially reads Montag the part in the bible where Job is to remain faithful to God, while undergoing hardships and difficulties challenges. In the Book of Job, the devil curses Job with many misfortunes, with the permission by God, to test Job’s faith. God let’s Job suffer and also lets him grow from it. Montag trusts Faber to say all of the right things from the “bullet’ that’s in Montag’s ear. Montag not only puts his faith in Faber, but also the “bullet” by trusting it will do everything that it needs to do. Everything is built on trust, and also with taking a leap of faith, and that’s exactly what Montag had with Faber. Just like how Job was rewarded at the end by remaining faithful to God, Faber thinks that Montag will be rewarded at the end of Montag’s journey.
Ray Bradbury uses many literary devices that make a connection to the protagonist in the book. Since Montag is living in a dystopian society, people do not have a choice. Montag is given an opportunity to change, rebuild a new society.