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What is the significance of the alliusion to Plato in Fahrenheit 451? Referring to what...

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agab2011 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM via web

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What is the significance of the alliusion to Plato in Fahrenheit 451?

Referring to what Faber said on pg. 76, "How many copies of Shakespeare and Plato?"

What about this allusion relates to events/characters/themes in the novel? Why did Ray Bradbury choose this particular allusion?


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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 19, 2013 at 10:52 PM (Answer #1)

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The allusion to Plato is important both because he is a thinker the reader will recognize and because his writings focus on a just life and proper government.  This contradicts the government in Fahrenheit 451.

Shakespeare was a renowned playwright and Plato was a renowned philosopher.  The significance of referring to Plato is that Plato had his own theories on government.

In his written dialogues, Plato developed accounts of knowledge, reality, humanity, society, goodness, God, and beauty.  (Plato enotes study guide)

In Republic specifically, Plato discusses the idea of what kind of government human beings should have, and how to effectively lead one’s own life.

Following the path of justice makes society better, and the gods reward a just man. (Republic enotes study guide)

Yet Fahrenheit 451 provides an example of a dictatorial government where there is no religion or philosophy, and people do not get to think for themselves.  Plato would not have approved. 


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