Homework Help

Name three symbols in Fahrenheit 451 and what they represent?

user profile pic

jazy411 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 5, 2008 at 1:43 PM via web

dislike 8 like

Name three symbols in Fahrenheit 451 and what they represent?

10 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 5, 2008 at 3:43 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Many major symbols appear in the titles Bradbury uses in the novel. The title of the novel, Fahrenheit 451 is symbolic because it is the temperature at which paper burns. Two other symbols associated with fire appear in the title of Part 1 of the novel, the hearth and the salamander. The hearth contains a fireplace and, when used constructively, can heat a home. Ancient peoples believed the salamander could live in fire. Salamanders are also the names given to fire trucks and are the official symbol of the firefighters.Thus, they represent the destructive nature of fire. The title of Part 2, "The Sand and the Sieve" is also symbolic. The sand represents the truth Montag, the main character, is seeking and the sieve is the human mind which sometimes makes it impossible to grasp the truth and remember it. At the end of the novel, the Phoenix, a mystical bird that would burn itself up and then rise again, is used as a symbol for the renewal of mankind. Mankind can almost destroy themselves, but they also can learn from their mistakes so, like the Phoenix, they have the capacity to rise from the ashes, and to rebuild their society.

user profile pic

nice900 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 10, 2008 at 5:53 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

In the society of the Dystopian World the fire is a negative force which frightens people by destroying the houses and books. It erases every cultural artifact and it is used as a pressure of the government to form the citizens the way the regimen wants. For the book people fire has a positive connotation, so it has another meaning for them. It has the function to warm, to enable to make breakfast.For the people living in the forest the fire is the meeting point, a place to sit around.So also the fire is a symbol for the difference between the Dystopian World and the group living in the forest.

Another symbol used in the novel is the water. The scene where water has the most important meaning is the scene when Montag crosses the river to escape out of the city to get into the Forest. The water divides the two completely different worlds and symbolizes a border. The river saves Montag and transports him away from the city to secrete him from the pursuing hound. Resumed the water is a symbol for a helpful force which saves Montag and is a contrast to the fire.

Throughout the novel books are qualified mostly as birds. Like the nature the birds also stand for a positive thing. By this the great force books contain is stressed. It also intensifies the contrast with the brutality and violence of the book burning. At the end of the novel it is mentioned that birds come back to the forest after the town has been bombed. In this case the birds symbolize that a good future will follow.

user profile pic

shizza123 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

The burning books represent the killing of knowledge and the killing of freedom of thought.

The mechanical hound represents the absence of nature and natural things.

The Salamander represents that the firemen are not harmed by fire.

The pheonix represents rebirth no matter how many times things may be destroyed.

...hope this helps :)

user profile pic

winthepooh | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 31, 2012 at 1:33 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like
mirrors symbolize self reflection, which is why Granger wants to build a mirror factory. parlor walls reflect mindlessness and isolation, and are desired in the dystopian society.
user profile pic

germanngr85 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

If you need symbols look at all of the names of the characters. For example, Clarisse in latin loosely transtales to clear, for her clear thought of mind. In my english class we looked at the names and found some interesting things. Hope this helps

user profile pic

localgirl | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

Birds symbolize the freedom of books being taken away by fire. 

The mechanical hound symbolizes the "bad side" of technology.

Parlor walls symbolize propaganda and people's obsession with technology. 

Hope this helped :)

user profile pic

Jyotsana | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:06 AM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like
The three symbols are:
“The Hearth and the Salamander”

Bradbury uses this conjunction of images as the title of the first part of Fahrenheit 451. The hearth, or fireplace, is a traditional symbol of the home; the salamander is one of the official symbols of the firemen, as well as the name they give to their fire trucks. Both of these symbols have to do with fire, the dominant image of Montag’s life—the hearth because it contains the fire that heats a home, and the salamander because of ancient beliefs that it lives in fire and is unaffected by flames.

“The Sieve and the Sand”

The title of the second part of Fahrenheit 451, “The Sieve and the Sand,” is taken from Montag’s childhood memory of trying to fill a sieve with sand on the beach to get a dime from a mischievous cousin and crying at the futility of the task. He compares this memory to his attempt to read the whole Bible as quickly as possible on the subway in the hope that, if he reads fast enough, some of the material will stay in his memory.

Simply put, the sand is a symbol of the tangible truth Montag seeks, and the sieve the human mind seeking a truth that remains elusive and, the metaphor suggests, impossible to grasp in any permanent way.

The Phoenix

After the bombing of the city, Granger compares mankind to a phoenix that burns itself up and then rises out of its ashes over and over again. Man’s advantage is his ability to recognize when he has made a mistake, so that eventually he will learn not to make that mistake anymore. Remembering the mistakes of the past is the task Granger and his group have set for themselves. They believe that individuals are not as important as the collective mass of culture and history. The symbol of the phoenix’s rebirth refers not only to the cyclical nature of history and the collective rebirth of humankind but also to Montag’s spiritual resurrection.

Sources:

user profile pic

Yojana_Thapa | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:55 PM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

The three symbols are:

- sieve and the sand

- the phoenix

- mechanical hound

- Fire

user profile pic

nicole8923 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:53 PM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

The 3 symbols could be the following:

- The Phoenix: "The symbol of the phoenix’s rebirth refers not only to the cyclical nature of history and the collective rebirth of humankind but also to Montag’s spiritual resurrection." (SparkNotes)

- The River: Rebirth, because Montag becomes a new person as he exits the river.

- Fire: A symbol of goodness and rebirth.

user profile pic

zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:42 AM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like

The symbols are the sieve and the sand, the phoenix, and the fire.

  • The Sieve in the sand relates from Montag trying to fill a sieve with sand to get a dime from his cousin and crying because of it. The sand is related to the truth he seeks and the sieve is the mind trying to find the truth. 
  • The Phoenix is when Granger compares mankind to the phoenix that raises itself up from the ashes. 
  • The fire is a symbol or rebirth as well as a symbol of the goodness

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes