In the novel fahrenheit 451. how have narrative techniques been used to reveal memorable ideasplease add textual refrences

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury uses 3rd person omniscient point-of-view and a dystopian science-fiction style to develop his themes regarding censorship, nuclear holocaust, and state terrorism.  He uses a literal plot-line and imagery to stand for his abstract look at the future of free speech.

Bradbury reveals his futuristic setting using heavy imagery, focusing on light/fire and darkness:

The sun burned every day. It burned Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the firemen, and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burned!

This worst-case scenario of the future is, of course, unrealistic, but its exaggeration helps drive home Bradbury's message that books must be protected at all costs.

His fear of nuclear holocaust is also evident--as the book was written a few years after the U.S. entered the nuclear Age and engaged in the Cold War standoff with the U.S.S.R.  Bradbury examines the politics of the police state and fear of state-run terrorism.  Notice his description of the firemen and the "suicide terrorist":

They crashed the front door and grabbed at a woman, though she was not running, she was not trying to escape. She was only standing, weaving from side to side, her eyes fixed upon a nothingness in the wall as if they had struck her a terrible blow upon the head. Her tongue was moving in her mouth, and her eyes seemed to be trying to remember something, and then they remembered and her tongue moved again:

Overall, Bradbury's style uses Juvenalian satire to attack the government and minority groups who wish to destroy books and limit the public's use of free speech and press.