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Fahrenheit 451 Allusions
Kelly Morrson 21 March 2011
Transcript of Fahrenheit 451 Allusions
1. a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication: an allusion to Shakespeare.
The phoenix is a mythical bird from Egypt which periodically burned itself and is reborn from the ashes.
Bradbury says that man's flaw is that unlike the phoenix, is we do not learn from our mistakes and the endless cycle of disintegraton and rebirth continues. Bradbury uses Beatty to represent the allusion of a phoenix-- he has the phoenix on his hat, his car is "The Phoenix".
Beatty knows what has happened in previous "cycles" but tragically does not use this knowledge. Fittingly, Beatty is burned to death representing a new "cycle" for Montag. Dover Beach Dover Beach is a poem of dramatic dialogue with a mournful tone. Matthew Arnold wrote the poem after visiting Dover, London, which is the setting of the poem.
Matthew Arnold was a religious man and at the time he wrote the poem, his society was 'crumbling' under the theory of evolution.
The light he sees in "Dover Beach," symbolizes the dying light of faith or, the theory of evolution taking over the religious view. One minute it is there, the next it is gone. He remained a believer in god, although other beliefs were being thrown around. Benjamin Franklin and
the Declaration of Independence • In 1736, Benjamin Franklin found the first fire company, Philadelphia Union Fire Company, which put out fires.
• The Fahrenheit 451 society was one that was censored and built off people’s ignorance.
• “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
• “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal. . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it.” (Bradbury, 58)
Beatty says people need to be equal or they'll be unhappy. He supports equality but is educated and reads books.
• “People want to be happy… I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they... and you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.” (Bradbury, 59)
Beatty’s definition of happiness is limited; it’s reduced to only having fun which means giving up thinking all together.
• Misinterprets the constitution pursuit of happiness as forcing people to be "happy" by taking away "unhappiness" (books) Gulliver’s Travels On page 68, when reading “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, Montag states the line “It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end.”
In Gulliver’s Travels, the line is talking about actually where to break an egg.
Montag vs. Mildred (two different views on books and society)
Relates to the Martyr
Struggle between being reasonable and being ripped apart from your beliefs Mythology Captain Beatty says "we have our fingers in the dike" on pg. 62
Faber says on pg. 83 "Do you know the legend of Hercules and Antaeus, the giant wrestler, whose strength was incredible so long as he stood firmly on the earth? But when he was held, rootless, in midair, by Hercules, he perished easily. If there isn't something in that legend for us today, in this city, in our time, then I am completely insane."
On pg. 113 Captain Beatty says, “Old Montag wanted to fly near the Sun and now that he’s burnt his damn wings, he wonders why.” Greek myth of Icarus.
"Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift: Chapter 4." The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 15 Mar. 2011.http://www.online-literature.com/swift/gulliver/4/.
"Myths and Famous Greeks." ENGL1102 - Allusions in Fahrenheit 451. Web. 15 Mar. 2011. <http://1102grp2.tripod.com/mythspg.html>.
"Quick Biography of Benjamin Franklin." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, 4 July 1995. Web. 20 Mar. 2011. <http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/info/index.htm>.
Cohen, S. Marc. "The Allegory of the Cave." washington.edu. washington.edu, 2006. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/ cave.htm>.
"Fahrenheit 451: Other Works/Adaptions." The Big Read. Arts Midwest, 2011. Web.
18 Mar. 2011. <http://neabigread.org/books/fahrenheit451/fahrenheit451_05.php>.
"Nicholas Ridley (martyr)." AbsoluteAstronomy.com. AbsoluteAstronomy.com, 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Nicholas_Ridley_%28martyr%29>.
"Play the Man." wordpress.com. wordpress.com, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2011. <http://blbarber.wordpress.com/about-this-blog/>.
Sisario, Peter. "A Study of the Allusions in Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451.'" English Journal 59.2 (1970): 201-205+212. JSTOR. Web. 17 Mar. 2011.<http://www.jstor.org/stable/811827>.
The Allegory of the Cave “I’ve heard rumors about hate too, once in a long while, over the years. Do you know why? I don’t, that’s sure! Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damn insane mistakes!” · Describes the path to enlightenment and knowledge
· Cave: men living in darkness and have no freedom to move or look about; heads, arms, and legs are chained
· Shadows: represent distorted truths
· Man breaks free from chains, wanders out into the light, and begins his path to enlightenment à eventually able to see the true source of knowledge – the sun How it Relates to Fahrenheit 451:
· Montag’s journey towards knowledge mirrors man’s journey in allegory
· Society = dark, empty cave
· Distorted truths = advertisements, television, historical “facts,” etc
· True source of knowledge is found through books, but finding knowledge in the Fahrenheit society is a life risking task
· Montag follows path to enlightenment that others have taken before him, illustrated by the railroad tracks (Ex. Clarisse) Latimer and Master Ridley “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” · Nicholas Ridley: Bishop of Rochester
· Supported Church of England (Anglican) and English Reformation instead of Catholic Church along with Hugh Latimer (Bishop of Worcester) and Thomas Cranmer (Archbishop of Canterbury)
· Oct. 16, 1555: all three men were burned at the stake for heresy and for their teachings and support of Lady Jane Grey for queen instead of Queen Mary
· Later were seen as martyrs for supporting the independence of the Church of England How it Relates to Fahrenheit 451:
· Recalls the idea of the Phoenix: rebirth from fire
· Montag’s intellectual fire, or “candle” is brightly lit when the martyr dies with her books
· Indestructibility of questioners and thinkers in the Fahrenheit society
· The fire continues burning with these philosophers and can never be put out completely The Bible Although practically no one in the Fahrenheit society seems to hold any religious beliefs, Bradbury makes the allusion to the bible frequently.
The bible is the book that Montag cherishes throughout the whole book and decides to memorize so that one day, it can be reprinted.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season," and Revelations 22:2, "And on either side of the river was there a tree of life...and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
The apocalypse from the bible which he is talking about is relative to the apocalypse he has just witnessed