In "Fahrenheit 451" how does Bradbury convey specific moods in scenes, and why?
"It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackend and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great phython spitting its venomous kersene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history."
The mood in this scene is intense, aggressive, passionate and extreme. To set that mood, Bradbury uses strong, vibrant words that have a definite intense and aggressive connotation. He puts in words like "eaten," "blackened," "spitting," "venomous," "pounded," "blazing," "ruins." All of these are very strong, highly negative yet powerful words that bring aggression, violence and intensity to mind. He also compares the firehose to a python, a highly poisonous and frightening snake known to cause serious harm and injury. So, we have a fireman coming on the scene, and Bradbury uses all of these very negative and violent phrases to describe his act. He does this to indicate just how bad what he is doing is; Bradbury's stance throughout the entire novel is what an atrocity it is for a society to have gotten to the point where they are burning books. It's not just books they are burning, it is independent thinking, freedom of thought, and being capable of thinking on any deep or meaningful level. It is burning quality of life, and true happiness. To burn such things in a society IS an awful, violent, horrific thing, just as his words indicate in this scene.
To counter the aggressive mood, you have words that show Montag's pure enjoyment of his act: "pleasure," "amazing conductor," and "symphony." This makes his violent acts even more awful, because he derives such intense pleasure from committing them. This represents the pleasure that Montag's society has in destroying history, in casting aside things that truly matter, and in making sure that the precious truths of life are safeguarded and treasured. Montag's enjoyment is a twisted commentary on the state that his society has come to.
I hope that those thoughts help you with that scene; good luck!