"Fahrenheit 451", by Ray Bradbury, is a book based on the future. It takes place in a totalitarian society where books and intellectualism are outlawed. Firemen who no longer need to put out fires in this futuristic society, now have the job of burning books and all their knowledge. Ray Bradbury uses lots of symbolism in his book to show us what happens when we give up our ideas and individualism for technology and entertainment.
Fire is the main symbolism Bradbury uses in" Fahrenheit 451". In "Fahrenheit 451" fire has both a positive and a negative meaning. In the novel fire is a symbol of carnage and destruction. It also is a symbol of warmth for Montag. Fire is also a solution for everything in Montag's eyes. Captain Beatty always taught Montag that fire burns all the problems of the world. Ironically, Beatty becomes a problem and is literally burned away by Montag "You always said, don't face a problem, burn it.
Well, no I've done both. Good-bye, Captain" (Bradbury 121). Fire symbolizes destruction and it burns and destroys many things in "Fahrenheit 451". It destroys books, people, Beatty, and Montag's home. It even destroys the Montag's city and the setting of the story. After Montag escapes the city, he sees fire as warmth and safety. He recognizes fire as warmth when he sees his fellow outlaws huddled around the campfire. Even thought they also burn books, they still remember it, passing the knowledge on from memory. Fire is the prime source of symbolism in "Fahrenheit 451".
Another piece of symbolism used by Bradbury is the Phoenix and the Salamander. The Phoenix is a mythological bird that dies by bursting into fire but then is reborn again in the ashes. Guy Montag and the Phoenix are common in this way.