What is the meaning of the following quote from Fahrenheit 451?"We're going to build a mirror factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Granger, telling Montag about his group's idea for the future of books and society, uses this quote as a metaphor for examining society with a critical eye.

"But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn't use what we got out of them.
Come on now, we're going to go build a mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them."
(Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Google Books)

Granger's point is that society has become so shallow and contemptible, people are incapable of looking at it from the outside. Instead, they ignored their own follies in the past, and ignore them even more in the present. Even with books and free thought available, people didn't learn from their mistakes. Granger hopes that his group will act as a "mirror" for society, allowing people to recognize their mistakes and learn from them. Granger intends to foster the ability of free thought and objective criticism, instead of the blind acceptance of social norms.

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ltiffany | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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This is in reference to Montag describing Clarisse as a mirror in "The Hearth and the Salamander."  The idea is that mirrors are symbols of being able to see oneself clearly, to understand oneself.

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