Metaphors In Fahrenheit 451

What are some examples of metaphor in part one of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury?

Expert Answers info

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a science-fiction novel full of all kinds of figurative language, including metaphors. A metaphor is an implied comparison between two unlike things, such as calling a cold room a freezer or a classroom a prison cell.

In part one of this novel, it does not take long to discover the first metaphor; in fact, it can be found in the second sentence of the story. 

Though we do not know his name yet, we know that a fireman is taking great pleasure in doing his job of burning things--books, to be more specific. Guy Montag is described this way:

With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.

Unlike a typical fireman, Montag has a hose which spews kerosene to start fires rather than water to douse them. In this case, the nozzle is compared to a "great python spitting its venomous kerosene" onto another pile of books.

Though Montag is a fireman who is, oddly enough, destroying things with fire, his actions are metaphorically compared to those of a conductor who uses his hands to orchestrate a great symphony of burning; the burning pile of books is also compared to a symphony of "blazing and burning."

Later, on his way home, Montag meets a young girl who we learn later is seventeen-year-old Clarisse McClellan. She tells him she does not mind the smell of kerosene, like so many other...

(The entire section contains 550 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial