Beetles are high-speed vehicles which are ubiquitous throughout the dystopia and provide mindless drivers the thrill they crave on a daily basis. Bradbury does not go into specific details describing the appearance of the vehicle, but its name suggests its shape. Beetles run on gas, come in a variety of...
Beetles are high-speed vehicles which are ubiquitous throughout the dystopia and provide mindless drivers the thrill they crave on a daily basis. Bradbury does not go into specific details describing the appearance of the vehicle, but its name suggests its shape. Beetles run on gas, come in a variety of colors, release blue exhaust, and can reach speeds of 130 mph. The vehicles can also maneuver quickly and whine when they reach extremely high speeds.
Bradbury depicts beetles as "glittering" and "gleaming" down the road, giving the reader the impression they sparkle like light hitting water, which contributes to their rapid, lively description. Given Mildred's account of how driving makes her feel, the audience can discern beetles are fun to drive. In addition to Mildred's description, reckless teenagers joy ride in beetles, playing chicken with each other, or attempting to run over small animals and people. Montag is lucky when he narrowly survives being run over while crossing a wide boulevard.
The extremely swift beetles reflect the fast-paced culture of Montag's dystopia. He lives in a shallow world where everything is immediate and leisure does not exist. People bottle their negative emotions and release their energy by engaging in dangerous activities like speeding down highways and boulevards. Mildred is a prime example and seeks pleasure by driving at high speeds when she can't sleep.
There's not much in the way of detailed description of beetles in Fahrenheit 451. On page 177 of the e-book version, they're described as “glittering,” which would appear to suggest that they're very shiny, just like the creatures after which they are named.
In another part of the book, a beetle taxi is described as having “hissed” to the curb. It's instructive that these high-speed vehicles are described in terms that are more appropriate to an animal, and a predator at that.
This impression is reinforced when Mildred advises Montag to go for a drive in their beetle as he's just told her that he's got an awful feeling he wants to smash and kill things. Whenever she gets such feelings, she grabs the keys of the beetle and heads off out into the country, where she smashes into rabbits and dogs. Apparently, it's a lot of fun.
One thing we know about beetles is that they are incredibly fast:
Beatty grabbed Montag's shoulder as the beetle blasted away and hit seventy miles an hour, far down the street, gone.
The breakneck speed of the beetle is significant in that it provides in this dystopian society another mindless distraction, another way to take their minds off the emptiness of their condition.
Speed, like TV, acts as a kind of anodyne to dull the pain of everyday existence. It's notable in this regard that Montag's wife, Mildred, not only watches TV all day but also, as we've seen, regularly takes to the wheel of a beetle whenever she feels the need to smash things up.
As was mentioned in the previous post, a beetle is a type of car in Bradbury's dystopian society throughout the novel Fahrenheit 451. Although Bradbury does not describe the shape of the vehicle's body, one can surmise that the car is round and probably resembles a Volkswagen Beetle. The beetle does not hover over the ground and does, in fact, have four tires. In the dystopian society, people enjoy driving the beetles, which can reach speeds up to 130 mph. In a conversation with Montag, Mildred expresses the joy she feels while driving the beetle at night when she reaches speeds up to 95 mph. Beetles also come in a variety of colors. Bradbury writes that Beatty's beetle is a yellow that resembles the color of flames. Montag also notices two silver beetles at the gas station. Interestingly, the beetles emit a blue exhaust. Clarisse ends up dying after she is hit by a speeding beetle, and Montag narrowly avoids the same fate as he crosses a boulevard.
A beetle is a car in Fahrenheit 451. It is described as a vehicle that hovers over the ground and moves at intensely fast speeds. It is described as a specific car in the chapter entitled "Burning Bright", the car of the police:
The beetle was rushing. The beetle was roaring. The beetle raised its speed. The beetle was whining. The beetle was in high thunder. The beetle came skimming. The beetle came in a single whistling trajectory, fired from an invisible rifle. It was up to 120 m.p.h. It was up to 130 at least. Montag clamped his jaws. The heat of the racing headlights burnt his cheeks, it seemed, and jittered his eye-lids and flushed the sour sweat out all over his body.
This was occuring as Montag was being chased. The beetle moved so fast that noises accompanied its presence. The beetle was in pursuit of its prey and it was not about to give up.
Another important feature about the beetle is that it is the same type of car that sounds like it might have taken out Clarisse. The beetle seemed as if it could see anything even though it was traveling at fast speeds.