Can you explain this quote from Fahrenheit 451 in great detail?"She made the empty rooms roar with accusation and shake down a fine dust of guilt that was sucked in their nostrils as they plunged...

Can you explain this quote from Fahrenheit 451 in great detail?

"She made the empty rooms roar with accusation and shake down a fine dust of guilt that was sucked in their nostrils as they plunged about."

Asked on by justdoit94

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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CONTEXT: This quote occurs when the firemen go to a house to burn in down that has a woman who refuses to leave. This is rare, usually the people are gone by the time the firemen arrive. What they do is usually an engaging and fun destructive time. But this time, the woman's presense "accuses" the men of their moral crime. This is the moment at which Montag's doubt about his position really begins. He sees the humanity in the woman being destroyed with the house and struggles with that concept.

LITERARY APPEAL: This quote uses figurative language that appeals to the reader. Empty rooms can't roar, so you have either personification or a metaphor that references an animal. The phrase "shake down" is a euphemism for getting a person or group to feel conviction for wrong-doing. Guilt is given the quailty of the object dust, again a metaphor, while that dust is vividly described as being sucked into their nostrils. This is an image at work.

 

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