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What are some literary devices (symbolism, metaphors, themes, foreshadowing) in...

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tigerpaw4 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 13, 2009 at 9:44 AM via web

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What are some literary devices (symbolism, metaphors, themes, foreshadowing) in Fahrenheit 451?

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

Posted May 10, 2009 at 11:21 AM (Answer #1)

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There are so many versions of the book that a page number won't be helpful, but I was able to find plenty within the first few pages of part two, so look there for these descriptions.  Bradbury uses figurative language techniques all throughout his novel, and in part two, there are many examples.  As he and Mildred sit and read books, he uses a simile and metaphor (both are when you compare two things; similes use "like" or "as", whereas metaphors don't) to describe the parlor:

"He started at the parlor that was dead and gray as the waters of an ocean that might teem with life if they switched on the electric sun."

Here he compares the t.v. screens to a dead ocean, and the power switch to an electric sun.  Right after this, he uses another simile to describe the jet bombers going overhead.  He states that they are "whistling like an immense, invisible fan, circling in emptiness."  He compares them to a fan that is just churning up emptiness, a symbol for the emptiness of their society.   Later, when Montag goes back to the station briefly, Beatty describes the pages of books burning with a simile and metaphor:

"like the petals of a flower...each becomes a black butterfly...swarms of black moths that had died in a single storm."

The pages of the book are describes as flowers, moths, and butterflies, all of them dying; this is a great way to describe how books-beautiful, delicate, and powerful things-are destroyed by fire and their society.

I'll stop there, since the format of the website allows for one question per day.  I hope that helped for similes and metaphors.  For examples of imagery, look for any instance where Bradbury uses the 5 senses to describe things (sight, scent, sound, taste, touch), and for personifcation, try to find a description where he gives inanimate objects human-like traits.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 10, 2010 at 9:53 PM (Answer #1)

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I will give you a few from Part 1 of the novel to start you off and then you can go back to the book and see if you can find some more - this novel is fullof literary devices.

With this brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous keronsene upon the world...

This simile compares the hose to a great python, which is interesting as the hose is compared to a monster which is engaged in destruction. This simile therefore emphasises the horror of the burning that Montag is engaged in.

He strode in a swarm of fireflies.

This is another simile that compares the remnants of burnt books that are flying around to a swarm of fireflies, again linking the character of Montag with fire.

Her face, turned to him now, was fragile milk crystal with a soft and constant light in it.

This metaphor used to describe Guy's first impressions of Clarisse. What is interesting is the attractiveness of Clarisse compared to Guy's wife and also how vulnerable it makes Clarisse appear.

As for imagery, any scene that is trying to evoke the 5 senses (and there are lots of them) can be used as an example. Hope this helps and good luck in finding some more examples

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