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Why is Part One summarized as The Hearth and the Salamander?

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christine55699 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 7, 2009 at 9:46 PM via web

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Why is Part One summarized as The Hearth and the Salamander?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 7, 2009 at 10:05 PM (Answer #1)

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Part one of the book has to do with Montag's home, the hearth, and his job, which is symbolized by the Salamander on the fire truck.  In part one, Montag is initially happy with his life, but through part one, he begins to question his life.  He struggles with both internal and external conflicts, he has doubts about his job, and his home life begins to fall apart.

"In scene after scene, Montag becomes emotionally alienated from his work, his wife, and the people he works with. As this alienation increases, he reaches out to books and to the people who value them. His escape from the city to the refuge of the book people offers hope. He has escaped the alienation of the mechanical society he left behind."

His home life falls apart as he becomes estranged even further from his wife, who starts the book with an overdose of pills that she can't remember taking.  Montag begins to question to actions of Captain Beatty, he becomes more and more disillusioned.

"Fire, the salamander, the Mechanical Hound, and the number of the title are important symbols that Bradbury exploits in the novel. At 451 degrees Fahrenheit, paper will burn. Fire is a primary image in the book. In the work of the fireman, it is seen as a destructive force. It stamps out books and the freedom of thought that books represent. In the beginning, Montag enjoys its qualities."

 

 

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