How many times and on what pages does Bradbury use the word ''mirror'' in Fahrenheit 451?

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cneukam1379 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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The word "mirror" is mentioned eight times in the book.  

In Part I:

  1. "Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror." This is the first image of Montag that the reader sees in the novel. Here, he is a "fireman," singed from the flames of a fire that he and his fellows created.
  2. "He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know that refracted your own light to you? People were more often--he searched for a simile, found one in his work--torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people's faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?" Here, Montag has met Clarisse for the first time, and he wonders how she can reflect him so clearly. In a sense, she is his foil, bringing out of him the qualities that he is too afraid to acknowledge on his own.
  3. "Had he ever seen a fireman that didn't have black hair, black brows, a fiery face, and a blue-steel shaved but unshaved look? These men were all mirror-images of himself!" Again, Montag is in the firehouse and speaking about mirrors. This time, unlike the first instance, Montag is not impressed with the image he sees; instead, he is appalled by the image.  

In Part III

  1. "There was a crash like the falling parts of a dream fashioned out of warped glass, mirrors, and crystal prisms." At this point in the book, Mildred, Montag's wife, has turned him in to the firemen for the books he has hidden, and as she leaves, Montag's vision of his renegade ways explode along with his house.  
  2. "'The look of you's enough. You haven't seen yourself in a mirror lately. Beyond that, the city has never cared so much about us to bother with an elaborate chase like this to find us.'" At this point, Montag has escaped from the city, being pursued by the Mechanical Hound and the police. Montag has lost the look of the fireman that he saw in the beginning of the novel and looks now like a man on the run.
  3. "Montag, falling flat, going down, saw or felt, or imagined he saw or felt the walls go dark in Millie's face, heard her screaming, because in the millionth part of time left, she saw her own face reflected there, in a mirror instead of a crystal ball, and it was such a wildly empty face, all by itself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating of itself, that at last she recognized it as her own and looked quickly up at the ceiling as it and the entire structure of the hotel blasted down upon her, carrying her with a million pounds of brick, metal, plaster, and wood, to meet other people in the hives below, all on their quick way down to the cellar where the explosion rid itself of them in its own unreasonable way." This quote comes near the end of the novel when the city where Montag was living is decimated by a nuclear explosion. The force of the explosion causes Montag to experience a flash of his previous life, to a time when he clearly remembers his wife and their initial happiness.
  4. "'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.'" These last two references to mirrors come as Montag and his fellow travelers dust themselves off and begin a journey to try to find others like themselves.  

These mirror images act as symbols of reflection, times when Montag reflects on himself and on society.