Why are the phoenix and salamander the professional symbols of the firemen?

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Stretching Ray Bradbury 's symbolism of the Salamander and the Phoenix can translate into this: the salamander, the lizard who is a mythic being able to live even in the presence of fire.  It skin is cold and it is suggested that the cold body can put out the flames. ...

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Stretching Ray Bradbury's symbolism of the Salamander and the Phoenix can translate into this: the salamander, the lizard who is a mythic being able to live even in the presence of fire.  It skin is cold and it is suggested that the cold body can put out the flames.  The Phoenix, is of course a symbol of rebirth.  The rising Phoenix out of the ashes is reborn to live again.

Even though Bradbury uses the Salamander to represent the fire trucks in the book, maybe the Salamander, resistant to fire can be a symbol of the spark that still exists in mankind, as evidenced in Guy Montag, Faber, and others who desire to read books and be educated.  That spark cannot be totally extinguished it has a salamander-like quality resisting the fire. Living alongside the fire, yet surviving.

The rebirth in human society of intellect,  especially symbolized as a rising Phoenix is a beautiful image.  Since Bradbury is a writer, he would apply this image to this important concept of starting over and learning to love the written word all over again.  

Its a stretch, but I enjoy interpreting images and symbols in literature!

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Great question! Both of these creatures had fire-related meanings in classical mythology. The phoenix never died, but instead, built a nest when it was old and burned itself up. When the fire was gone, a new/young phoenix rose from the ashes. This would symbolize both that the firemen wouldn't be hurt by the flames, and that their burning is intended as a kind of regeneration. A new society is being born by their efforts.

The word "salamander" comes from the Greek, and means "fire animal." Salamanders were thought to be born from fire. Therefore, both animals were associated with fire, and with new beginnings from the flames, which would be very appropriate for this sort of fireman.

Greg

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