Fahrenheit 451 Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 book cover
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In Fahrenheit 451, what are examples of a symbol, a hyperbole, and an understatement?  

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Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The bird is a symbol throughout the book. In some cases, books are described as birds. Describing pages as spreading like the wings of a bird indicates that books have the potential to fly. In other words, books have the potential to escape the kind of oppression and destruction that the firemen have subjected them to. When Montag is at a house where a woman has been hoarding books, he has this experience:

A book alighted, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering. In the dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. 

In addition, the knowledge and inspiration that comes from books is not relegated to the book itself. Montag can read a book and remember what he's read. Even if the book is burned, the knowledge from the book lives on through him. Compare this to a bird's song. Also, consider the Phoenix. This is a mythical bird which is reborn of its own ashes. It is ironic that this symbol is on...

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