What is the significance of this quote from Fahrenheit 451: “And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And...

What is the significance of this quote from Fahrenheit 451: “And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”?

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the closing paragraphs of Fahrenheit 451, Montag suddenly recalls a passage from the Bible which he decides to save "for noon." This quote is taken from the Book of Revelation (22:2), one of the books that Montag has memorised, and is significant for a number of reasons.

First of all, the blossoming of fruit on the "tree of life" evokes a strong image of new beginnings which is particularly apt at this stage in the novel. This is because Montag and his friends have just witnessed the total destruction of the city and are now preparing to rebuild their society from scratch.

Furthermore, the allusion to the tree which bears fruit is a symbol of hope and optimism. It implies that Montag and his friends will be successful in their endeavours. This is further supported by the reference to the "healing of nations" which suggests that Montag's society will undergo a revitalization and a rebirth, washing away the censorship of the past and making way for a new, uncensored and liberated future. This is also supported by Granger's allusion to the Phoenix which appears just before this quote. This symbol evokes a potent image of a cleansing fire which will renew the spirits of those left behind and prepare them for the challenges ahead.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As was mentioned in the previous post, Montag remembers the verse from Revelation 22:2 as he is walking towards the recently destroyed city. This verse is significant because it correlates with Montag's final goal in life, which is to heal the citizens of Bradbury's dystopian society by rebuilding a literate nation. The tree of life and its continual fruit represent the future prosperity that Montag and his intellectuals will provide society once they have rebuilt it. Through knowledge and cooperation, the traveling intellectuals plan on building a fruitful, peaceful society. The verse also mentions that the leaves on the tree of life will heal the nations. This coincides with Montag's newfound purpose in life. His work will heal society's wounds and bring the citizens of each nation together to live in harmony. As a whole, Revelation 22:2 represents Montag's future endeavors, which include rebuilding and healing society following the nuclear attack.  

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Fahrenheit 451

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