Presentation on theme: "Themes, Motifs, and Symbols"— Presentation transcript:
1 Themes, Motifs, and Symbols in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
2 Theme: Censorship Why books banned? People just aren’t interested TVRadioFast carspeople aren’t used to slowing down, concentrating, thinking
3 Books/ideas are badWhy make people who aren’t well-read feel bad just because others have? (wide-spread ignorance levels the playing field)Objections of special-interest groups that what is being said in books is offensive (political correctness)
4 Motif:Motif – as a literary element, an idea or image that is repeated or carried through an individual workA motif differs from a theme in that it can be expressed as a single word or fragmentary phrase, while a theme usually must be expressed as a complete sentence.Blood is an important motif in A Tale of Two Cities, appearing numerous times throughout the novel.
5 Motif: ParadoxParadox -- Where a situation is created which cannot possibly exist, because different elements of it cancel each other out.In 1984, “doublethink” refers to the paradox where history is changed, and then claimed to have never been changed.A Tale of Two Cities opens with the famous paradox, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
6 Motif: Paradox Examples in °F 451: Things, or people are . . . Dead and aliveThere and not thereSeeing but not seeingShells of people, not thinking, not mentally present although they are physically present; empty; grotesqueWhat other examples from the text?
7 Motif: Paradox In the sense of the book itself: Is this an example of art imitating life or life imitating art? Both?In American society today:Freedom is what makes America strong, yet it makes us susceptible to people who would take that away from us.
8 Motif: NatureElements of the natural world are real, pure, and represent truth and innocenceClarisseDandelionsrainPresented as authentic, simple yet profound, beautifulMechanical devices modeled after natureSnakeHoundPresented as skewed, warped, grotesque
9 Symbolism:Symbolism -- The use of specific objects or images to represent abstract ideas.A symbol must be something tangible or visible, while the idea it symbolizes must be something abstract or universal.
10 Symbol: The Hearth and the Salamander Hearth symbolizes homeSalamander symbolizes the firehouse, the firemen, and their trucksBoth deal with fireHearth heats the homeAncient beliefs that the salamander lives in fire and is not burnt by flames
11 Symbol: The Sieve and the Sand Sand symbolizes tangible truthSieve symbolizes the human mindTogether = the human mind trying to obtain elusive truths
12 Symbol: PhoenixIn ancient Egyptian mythology and in myths derived from it, a mythical sacred firebirdThe phoenix is a male bird with beautiful gold and red plumage.At the end of its life-cycle the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises.The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible — a symbol of fire and divinity.
13 Symbol: PhoenixAfter bombing, mankind is a Phoenix that burns itself up and rises out of the ashesRefers to the cyclical nature of historyCollective rebirth of mankindResurrection of Montag
14 Symbol: MirrorSymbolizes self understanding or awareness through deep reflectionClarisseGranger says they should build a mirror factory