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A simile is a literary device that makes a direct comparison between two things using the words "like" or "as." Bradbury utilizes numerous similes throughout Fahrenheit 451 to add imagery and make his writing more interesting.

After Montag meets his unique, introspective neighbor, Clarisse, he begins to realize that he is not happy with his unfulfilling life. Bradbury utilizes a simile to describe Montag's feelings by writing,

He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back (5).

At the end of part 2, Montag arrives at the fire station wearing the green bullet in his ear and Captain Beatty attempts to confuse his thoughts regarding literature and knowledge. After Montag listens to Beatty's moving speech, Bradbury once again utilizes a simile to describe Montag's reaction by writing,

Montag sat like a carved white stone (51).

After Montag flees the dystopian city, he enters the wilderness and catches a glimpse of the welcoming campfire that Granger's group is sitting around. Bradbury uses a simile to describe how Montag sees the campfire through the trees by writing,

The fire was gone, then back again, like a winking eye (Bradbury, 68).

After the atomic bomb is dropped and reduces the city to a pile of ashes and rubble, Granger utilizes a simile by commenting,

City looks like a heap of baking-powder. It's gone (Bradbury, 76).

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A simile is an indirect comparison.  It usually uses the words “like” or “as” to compare two unlike things.  Clarisse uses two different similes to describe Clarisse’s face.

When Montag first sees Clarisse, he makes an odd comparison.

She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night (part 1).

This simile makes Clarisse seem kind of unusual and exotic, but also fleeting.  She comes into his life rather suddenly and leaves quickly, so this is fitting.

Montag is oddly inspired and unsettled by Clarisse.  She asks him if he is happy, and he has never stopped to think about if he is or not.

How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know that refracted your own light to you? (part 1).

Clarisse is like a mirror because she reflects his true self back to him, and his deepest thoughts.  He is so troubled by his brief encounter with her that he asks himself if he is happy, and he changes his entire approach to life.

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In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury uses several similes. Can you mention the text passage?

Bradbury uses a lot of poetic and figurative language in his writing, so the book has many, many different similes in it.  I'll jot down several, just in the opening sections, to get you started.  In describing Clarrisse's face after Montag gets home after meeting her for the first time, Bradbury writes,

"She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of the night...with a white silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing."

This simile (comparing two things using like or as) relays the fact that Montag feels assured and comforted by Clarisse; she is knowing, and a beacon of assurance in a dark world.  Bradbury goes on with another simile for Clarisse's face:  "how like a mirror, too, her face," meaning that she had the ability to help people see themselves for who they really are.  Again, on Clarisse:

"she was like the eager watcher of a marionatte show, anticipating...before it began,"

meaning that she is an observer of their world, curiously watching what is going on, and able to understand everyone's movements.  Later, as he comes steps into his bedroom,

"he felt his smile slide away, melt, fold over and down on itself like a tallow skin, like the stuff of a fantastic candle burning too long and now collapsing and now blown out."

This symbolizes his unhappiness in his own home, after the soft, burning happiness of talking to Clarisse.

Bradbury uses similes all throughout his novel, and if you keep your eyes open for them, they almost always convey a deeper symbolism for the characters and the moments they experiences.  I hope that helps a bit!

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