What is the style of language in Bradbury's classic novel "Fahrenheit 451"?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ray Bradbury uses great descriptions, elegant poetic symbolism and intense imagery in his book "Fahrenheit 451".  The story itself is told in three parts, in a third-person limited narration, from Montag's perspective.  So those items are the foundation of Bradbury's style, but where he really stands out is in the way that he describes things very poetically.  He uses poetic techniques--imagery, similes, metaphors, personification, and symoblism to really bring his ideas alive, and infuse the entire narration with intense emotion and vividness.

Take for example passages where he describes books.  He compares them to many different types of live things-flowers, moths, fireflies, "slaughtered birds," "pigeon-winged," etc.  As Bradbury compares an inanimate object to alive and often beautiful things, it makes books seem more than just a cover and paper sitting there, but a live thing with amazing and wonderful things to offer.  Using that style enhances his theme of books being key factors to a fulfilled and "right" society.  He is also very descriptive and poetic in describing his characters.  If you look at the first descriptions of Clarisse, Bradbury compares her to many things, all suggesting deeper meaning and profundity.  Clarisse's face was "a fragile milk crystal with a soft and constant light," a "small clock seen faintly in the dark, a "mirror," a "candle."  Comparing her image to all of these thinges (using similes and metaphors) enhances Clarisse's beauty and depth.  By contrast, Mildred is compared to a cold corpse on a tomb, to a sightless, soundless, inanimate object that is unresponsive.  The contrast is stark, emphasizing Mildred's lack of sensitivity and life.

Bradbury's use of poetic description, imagery and symbols are key indicators of his style, and enhance his book, bringing layers to his characters, and depth to his themes.  I hope that these thoughts helped a bit; good luck!

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Fahrenheit 451

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