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Cheshire Cat: A Fahrenheit 451 Allusion

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on 29 October 2014

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Transcript of Cheshire Cat: A Fahrenheit 451 Allusion

Where Cheshire Cat Comes Into Play.
"They were like a monstrous crystal chandelier tinkling in a thousand chimes, he saw their Cheshire cat smiles burning through the walls of the house, and now they were screaming at each other above the din." (pg. 89, Bradbury, Ray)
Cheshire Cat: A Fahrenheit 451 Allusion
Picture this: It is nine in the evening and Guy Montag is eating his dinner. Out of the blue, his doorbell rings and Mildred, his wife, runs to open the door. Two women, Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles come in waving around martinis with Mildred behind them. They notice Guy Montag and their faces spread into large-Cheshire Cat- grins. The two start spewing forth endless compliments and comments, each more empty-minded than the last.
Wait...What does this have to do with the rest of the book?
In the book, Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles are Mildred's friends. Both are shallow creatures who have been immersed with themselves. They are perfect examples of how ignorance can cause narrow-mindlessness and empty happiness. Their Cheshire Cat grins show that they are unhappy because as the book states "...now they were screaming at each other above the din." (pg. 89, Bradbury, Ray) Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles are trying to outdo each other in their 'happiness war'. Each one try to out compliment and converse each other. It is not until Montag whips out "Dover Beach", that we see any real emotion.
Last Cheshire Cat Bits.
The phrase 'Cheshire Cat' has been apart of our society since the late 1700's. It began in Cheshire, England which was known for it's dairy farms. The natives liked to say that the Cheshire cats grinned because of the abundance of milk. The term was popularized by Lewis Carroll's character: Cheshire Cat.
In present time, to be compared to the Cheshire Cat generally means being mad or sarcastic.
Citaions for now
Bradbury, Ray. "The Sieve and the Sand." Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013. 89. Print.
Wait....Who is the Cheshire Cat?
The Cheshire Cat is a commonly known character from Lewis Carroll's
Through the Looking Glass
. The Cheshire Cat is infamous for it's 'grin'. The grin can be described as sarcastic and mad. The reason the two women were said in the novel to be smiling Cheshire Cat grins is because their smiles weren't real. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles have adapted well into the censored world from Fahrenheit 451. Their smiles and comments prove this.
Riley Manuel
Lister: 2/3
October, 29, 2014
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