Explain two symbols from the novel Fahrenheit 451.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several important symbols throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451. In the second section of the novel, the sieve and the sand symbolizes Montag's unsuccessful attempt at remembering the various texts he is reading. Montag remembers when he was a child at the beach, and his cousin challenged him to fill a sieve with sand. As Montag poured the sand into the sieve, the sand sifted through, and he was never able to fill it. When Montag is on the subway train, he is distracted by the "Denham's Dentifrice" advertisement and is unable to recall what he has read. The sand symbolizes important information, while the sieve symbolizes Montag's mind attempting to comprehend the specific information.

Another symbol found throughout the novel is the salamander. The salamander is the official symbol of the firemen and is depicted on the patches of their uniforms. According to ancient mythology, salamanders were believed to be able to live in fire without being affected. The symbol of the salamander represents the firemen's ability to control and harness the power of flames without being harmed.