Please provide a few examples of metaphors from the second part of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Metaphors are types of figures of speech that compare two unlike things not using the words "like" or "as". They are used by authors to appeal to readers' imaginations in order to make deep connections with the message or theme. They also help to create mental pictures or images in the brain while reading. In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, there are many metaphors about fire and books connected to the imagination. Here are a few examples.

Montag imagines Beatty teaching him to burn books and three different metaphors are used to connect the burning pages of books to butterflies, then to cigarettes, and finally to moths. The passage is below as follows:

"'Light the first page, light the second page. Each becomes a black butterfly. Beautiful, eh? Light the third page from the second and so on, chain smoking, chapter by chapter'. . . There sat Beatty, perspiring gently, the floor littered with swarms of black moths that had died in a single storm" (76-77).

The first metaphor compares the burning pages of a book to black butterflies and Beatty sees them as beautiful. Then, by using one page to light another one up, he compares the act to chain smoking and how one might use one cigarette to light another. Finally, from Montag's perspective, the ashes from the burned pages float all around Beatty and the third metaphor refers to them as dead black moths, which brings a not-so-beautiful image to mind.



jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several examples of metaphors in Part II, "The Sieve and the Sand." One example is the following: "Poor Millie, he thought. Poor Montag, it's mud to you, too." In this example, Montag is using a metaphor, or a comparison that does not use "like" or "as," to compare his reading, which he does not understand, to mud. He has not been educated to read, so reading is like mud to him. 

Another example of a metaphor is Beatty's description of burning books: "Sit down, Montag. Watch. Delicately, like the petals of a flower. Light the first page, light the second page. Each becomes a black butterfly." Using a metaphor, Beatty compares the burning books to black butterflies, and he uses a simile (a comparison using "like" or "as") to compare the burning books to the petals of a a flower.

Later,  Montag thinks, "Even the smile, he thought, the old burnt-in smile, that's gone. I'm lost without it." He compares his forced smile to a smile that's been burned into a doll, for example, to express that his old smile was fake and forced upon him.

Faber says of Jesus in their society, "He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshipper absolutely needs." In other words, God has been subverted in their society and turned into something sweet, like a candy, and without substance. God is used to sell goods and has been hollowed out.