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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 Literary Analysis

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The world is never at rest, harboring many diverse people with their own acclaimed opinions and actions. These various components contribute to the intricacy of the world, being the stimuli for powerful thoughts and emotions. In the novel, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury utilizes metaphors, personification, and repetition to depict that ignorance is bliss due to people enclosing themselves from reality because of the pain brought, which promotes the desire for an untroubled environment.

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To begin with, Bradbury relays his message through the use of personification; This is used to describe society’s outlook on how life should transpire. The quote which supports this is, “They show the pores in life. The comfortable people want only wax faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless”. The author expresses how books show the ‘pores of life. ’ Pores are a human characteristic that flaws the face. Individuals tend to criticize and be discontent about possessing this feature. They try to minimize the appearance of pores as much as they can in hopes of a clear complexion. What’s being implied is that books illuminate the negative elements that are attached to reality. They elevate realness and authenticity which unveils the conflicts that lie within the world. The people are unable to face the portion of life that provide the slightest distraught. They cover up this defect through un-acknowledgement, hence them opting for, ‘poreless, hairless, expressionless’. This illustrates society’s aspiration for perfection, void of any conflict which demonstrates their inclination of happiness over truth.

Not only does Bradbury display society’s outlook, he also shows the way they live based on ignorance through the use of the metaphor, “We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam”. The people are being compared to flowers, plants that are soft, delicate, and beautiful, which is then used to describe how they ‘live on flowers’. By drawing this comparison, it illustrates how people are trying to guard themselves from actuality and be confined in their own world of what they deem as happiness, which is an environment that solely focuses on beauty of things. The author further explains that they are unwilling to ‘grow on good rain and black loam’. In order for a plant to thrive, their environment must garner fertile soil and an abundant source of water.

Bradbury also uses allusion in his novel. For example, “You’ve been locked up here for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel, Snap out of it!” (Bradbury 35). The story of the Tower of Babel is complicated and open to many levels of interpretation. The story of the division of language in itself is remarkable. Something as baffling as why all men don’t speak the same language is a topic that people from many cultures have tried to solve by tying it to an act of the divine or unknown, thus leaving modern readers and believers with a variety of similar stories as to how it happened. This character uses the Tower of Babel to “justify” the book burnings because like the people in the tower, the books contradict each other, confusing the readers. So, similar to the reference to Benjamin Franklin, it hints that the people of that community are discouraged from sharing unique thoughts or original ideas; their thoughts are somewhat manipulated by the government.

By comparing the people to flowers and describing their habitat and the way they live, it indicates that people are reluctant to better themselves and possess individuality. For one to be their own person, they must accumulate original ideas and undergo experiences that will make them ponder. Society is lacking much development by not acquiring the necessary nutrients to grow and process the vital things in life, which in this case, is knowledge. The society’s detested feelings towards knowledge ultimately ties back to why ignorance is so advocated by the people. Most have a certain stigma about books. This is displayed in the literary pattern, repetition, “I’ve always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings. Poetry and sickness; all that mush”. The constant deliverance of flipping from ‘poetry’, which is associated with literature, to words that are generalized as negative, emphasizes that the people deduce works of literature to be pure evil. Mrs. Phelps’ continuance of spitting out the things that she feels are negatively affiliated with books is a strong representation of how the majority of society perceives knowledge. Like Phelps, most people are unable to pull any positive aspects from obtaining information. They are unwilling to accept the words that come their way which conveys how close minded they are. Complexity and anything that aid critical thinking is disregarded and is reckoned as intolerable. If that were to be presented in their life, emotions would be activated which are highly unfavorable for them due to the complicated nature when dealing with feelings.

Due to society’s limited range of comprehension and experience in various emotions, the foreignness of it all will cause a surge of panic and terror. Their little bubble of bliss would burst, exposing them to pain and suffering, thus why simplicity is highly sought after. The repetition reinforces this idea by parading the outpour of emotions which effectively lets the reader gain perspective as to why there is much passion against knowledge. The use of the figurative languages such as personification, metaphors, and repetition fully enhances the aspect of obliviousness along with happiness that can result from ignorance.

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These literary devices establish society’s idealistic goals and methods of living in the solitude of bliss. In today’s world, peace and absolute contemptment is valued, but is almost impossible to be fully achieved for everyone. There are many happenings on Earth that people turn a blind eye on due to the unreal horrificness of the situation. It is believed that focusing on yourself and residing in your own world creates a better living rather than recognizing and dwell upon the misfortunes of everyday life.

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