Fahrenheit 451

8 August 2016

I thought it was ironic how Beatty mentioned that the mechanical hound just “functions” because that’s how the citizens seem to act as well. For example, how one of Mildred’s friends had so many abortions without a care in the world. They act inhumane just how a robot would or even a mechanical hound. The mechanical hound is programmed to ‘function’ as if it were a human being except without thoughts or motives. However, the members of Montag’s society still relate to this because they’re obviously living but they don’t really experience life. They only think what the TV tells them to think.

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Beatty mentions that the mechanical hound “doesn’t think anything we don’t want it to think” which is exactly what is occurring with the society. It’s truly ironic how Beatty programs the mechanical hound (technology) what to think but the parlor walls (technology) also tells the society what to think. “He was not happy. He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back” (Bradbury 12).

Simile: Bradbury uses a simile to describe how Montag1 feels. He’s obviously not saying that Montag was wearing a mask which the girl took from him and ran away with. One night, the girl that Bradbury speaks of, Clarisse asked Montag if he was happy. He was shocked that she would ask him such a question. He immediately responded that of course, he was indeed happy. However, Montag began to doubt if he was truly happy and came to the realization that he actually was not happy. Clarisse caused him to question his own happiness, which caused him to realize that it was false.

That’s where the simile comes in, “he wore his happiness like a mask” meaning that all along he was pretending to be happy, hiding his unhappiness under a mask that he put on. He kind of just pushed away his feelings. Then “the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask” which means that by Clarisse questioning Montag if he was happy made him realize that he actually wasn’t. Now that Montag was aware that he wasn’t happy, “there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back” meaning that there is no way of him being able to continue trying to convince himself that he is happy with his life.

“To see the firehouses burn across the land, destroyed as hot beds of treason. The salamander devours his tail! Ho, god! ” (Bradbury 86). Metaphor & Symbolism: Montag explains to Faber his brilliant plan to plant books in the other firemen’s homes and turn them in. The reason he wants to do this is because by getting rid of the firefighters he can help bring down the government by making one of the few that enforce the laws guilty of a crime. In this matter, the crime is having anything to do with books.

That’s where Faber comes in quite excited about the plan and says that it would be great to see the firehouses burn and then stating that, “the salamander devours his tail! Ho, god! ” The salamander mostly seems to symbolize fire in the story, also being the name of the fire trucks. However, in this quote the salamander symbolizes the government meaning that the system would be brought down from within, like a creature eating up itself. If they’re able to make those who enforce the law look guilty of breaking their own laws, then the system would eventually and soon enough break down on its own.

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