How is revelation an allusion in "Fahrenheit 451"?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Revelation" is to uncover, display, or bring into the open.  In the book, "Fahrenheit 451", Bradbury displays what might happen to a society that no longer reads and thinks.  Through the action of the characters, he shows how the people of this futuristic society are being manipulated by their government.  When Capt. Beatty tells Guy Montag, in the first section, how their society came to be, he explains that people wanted to be entertained more than they wanted to be enlightened.  He says that people didn't want to have to think and to analyze on their own - they wanted to have any pertinent information given to them in a quick, concise manner.  He tells Montag that the government took over more and more until finally, books were outlawed altogether because they made people think.  In the second section, revelation takes place as Montag realizes that something must be done to stop the madness of his current society and he struggles to find a way to stop it.  Revelation also takes place in the final section of the book when Montag joins the book people and he uncovers the hope of a better future as he watches his city and his society become incinerated by an atomic bomb.  Revelation isn't as much an allusion as it is an outright statement.

kgaschnig | Student

I believe you are referring to the Book of Revelation, which is one of the texts that Montag reveals he has partially memorized when he meets up with Granger and the group of intellectuals at the end of the novel. The Book of Revelation, commonly referred to simply as Revelation, is a Biblical text from the New Testament that more or less prophesies the apocalypse.

An allusion is a brief and indirect reference to something of a literary, cultural, historical, or artistic significance. Fahrenheit 451 is full of literary allusions, such as the biblical allusions mentioned when Montag first meets Granger. When asked what he has to offer the group, Montag replies, "Nothing. I thought I had part of the BOok of Ecclesiastes and maybe a little of Revelation, but I haven't even that now" (Bradbury 144). Well-read individuals will recognize that both Ecclesiastes and Revelation are books from the Bible, but the author doesn't explain that to the reader. Therefore, references to those texts are allusions.

The allusion to Revelation is particularly interesting because the characters in the novel are now facing an apocalyptic situation. Shortly after this conversation, the city is bombed, and Montag and the group of intellectuals head out to search for survivors, hoping that one day, they will be able to restore books and literature to the world.

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Fahrenheit 451

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