Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Symbols

Rain and water images

The rain and water images are less symbols than a motif. These images occur throughout the work. Bradbury uses a quote from Boswell to establish this motif. See the "Important Quotes" section for further discussion of this.

Phoenix:

The phoenix is the firemen's sigil. The phoenix was a mythical, flaming bird that would be reborn from its ashes every time it burned itself up. This probably relates to society, which is destroyed in the novel, and Bradbury implies that it can be rebuilt.

Nature:

Clarisse is connected to nature, and is one of the sanest characters in the book (as well as one of the most feared). Bradbury seems to suggest that a loss of connection with nature can lead to a degradation of one's interior life, and thus of society as well.

Snake:

Given the religious undertones of the novel, the mechanical snake in the first section might symbolize the snake from the book of Genesis in the Bible.

This list is hardly exhaustive. See the analysis sections of the study guide for further information, especially concerning religious allusions.

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