Fahrenheit 451

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Fire Symbol Icon
Fire is an interesting symbol in Fahrenheit 451 because it symbolizes two different things. Through the firemen, who burn books and wear the number "451" on their helmets, fire symbolizes destruction. (451°F is the temperature at which paper and books burn.) Yet at the same time, Clarisse reminds Montag of candle-light, and so fire, when controlled, symbolizes the flickering of self-awareness and knowledge.
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Fire Symbol Timeline in Fahrenheit 451

The timeline below shows where the symbol Fire appears in Fahrenheit 451. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Censorship Theme Icon
...intense pleasure in burning a pile of books on a lawn. It's his job—he's a fireman. He loves the way things look when they burn and the way he feels when... (full context)
Mass Media Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
...and asks if she can walk home with him. She notes that Montag is a fireman, and says that she isn't afraid of him and tells him that fireman used to... (full context)
Censorship Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
...he reaches ten, the woman strikes a match and lights herself and everything else on fire. The neighbors come out to watch the spectacle. (full context)
Censorship Theme Icon
Conformity vs. Individuality Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Driving back to the firehouse, Montag asks what the woman was reciting when they entered. Beatty knows it by heart.... (full context)