What is the significance of The Book of Ecclesiastes in "Fahrenheit 451"?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Most obviously, it is the book that Montag has partially memorized, and that he will, in their future society, teach to other people.  Part of Granger's plan, and those that return to the city to rebuild, is to use books that they have all memorized, so that they can share the wisdom from them, and pass that wisdom on to future generations.  Montag says that he has a little bit of Ecclesiastes in his head, so he will be in charge of guarding it safely so that it isn't lost forever.

More symbolically, in the actual book of Ecclesiastes in the bible, a lot of its main theme focuses on how worldy pleasures, vanity, material goods, and worldly pursuits are worthless, meaningless, and empty.  Pursuing the world, filling your life with pursuits of money and pleasure will leave you without anything of real import in the end.  That theme represents the society that Montag lived in, and how it is empty and meaningless, despite its full and busy schedule as it pursues worldy pleasures.  That is a significant book in the bible to memorize, because it contains important lessons on how to rebuild a society that is based on real, meaningful values instead of emptiness.

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