How would you analyze the following quote from Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451? Are any literary devices used? "So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless. We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam. Even fireworks, for all their prettiness, come from chemistry of the earth. Yet somehow we can grow, feeding on flowers and fireworks, without completing the cycle back to reality” (Bradbury 83).

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Literary devices are techniques used by writers of literature to better describe whatever they are writing about. For example, when Robert Burns wanted to describe his love, he didn’t say, “My love is beautiful”; he instead opted for the more imaginative and compelling simile “My love is like a red, red rose” (1). Other common literary devices include metaphors, diction, personification, and hyperbole.

In this passage from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Faber instructs Montag on the role of literature in society. He says books “show the pores in the face of life.” This is an instance of metaphor and personification, since books can’t really “show the pores” and life doesn’t actually have a face like humans do. Since pores are small blemishes, Faber, and ultimately Bradbury, here describe and emphasize how books reveal blemishes, or injustices and inconsistencies, in everyday life. To continue this idea, look at the following sentence: “The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.” This is a second instance of metaphor, since pale, blemish-free faces are compared to wax moons. The comfortable people, or the people in charge of society, don’t want society to change, because the current configuration of society allows them to acquire comfort at the top. Were the injustices and inconsistencies of society revealed to the public through literature, the current configuration of society could change. The last few sentences operate as an analogy, or an extended metaphor. Flowers don’t really eat flowers, nor do people really eat flowers or fireworks. Through this analogy, Bradbury suggests that books help people understand things distinct from themselves, thereby allowing them to learn more about the world and grow as individuals.

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This quote is about the way in which Montag's dystopian society fears books because books reveal the warts and problems present in the world. The theme is the society's fear of imperfection, which is present in nature. Books show the small problems even in objects that seem perfect at first. Using a metaphor, Bradbury compares these small problems to "pores in the face of life." Instead, people in Montag's society want faces that are smooth and without blemishes. To avoid these blemishes, Montag's society is moving as far away from nature as possible. The metaphor "flowers living on flowers" is a reference to this idea--that even nature itself in Montag's world is trying to distance itself from nature. However, everything goes back to nature, even fireworks, but Montag's society is somehow trying to live without a connection to nature, as nature is imperfect. 

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