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English 1 Honors Schroll Extended Paragraph: Fahrenheit 451 In the story “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, the author uses fire to symbolize the unwillingness of people to do things that make them unhappy. The firefighters believe they are protecting civilization through the burning of books. Captain Beatty, chief of the fire department, believes that "fire is bright and fire is clean.” (60) This belief develops when he explains to Montag the reasoning behind burning books which he explains as “merely stories - fictions, lies - about non existent people. Books are figments of the imagination.” He goes on to say that the fireman’s main duty “is to rid the world of controversy - to end disputes - to make people the same, and for them to be happy all the time. Fire is the force of good, cleansing society.” (60) In one instance, the flames were used to cleanse the fire department of its evils by its elimination of the chief. In this case, "Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on [Beatty]" until "he was a shrieking blaze, a jumping, sprawling gibbering manikin, no longer human or known, all writhing flame on the lawn.” (119) A picture forms in the mind of the reader showing how Montag finally stands up for what he believes to be right. Furthermore, when Montag set his own house ablaze, he undergoes an emotional experience in which he views the fire as a new starting point. The fire signifies Montag sterilizing his life by burning his house and "he felt himself gush out in the fire, snatch, rend, rip in half with flame, and put away the senseless problem.” (116) This captures Montag in a stage of anger and frustration after his wife has left him and his chief is ready to arrest him. The burning flames are much like those burning inside of Montag as he realizes that the life he once lived was a
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