Fahrenheit 451

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.

Fire Quotes in Fahrenheit 451

The Fahrenheit 451 quotes below all refer to the symbol of Fire. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Mass Media Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Fahrenheit 451 published in 2013.
Part 1 Quotes
It was a pleasure to burn.
Related Characters: Guy Montag (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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"We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon."
Related Characters: Captain Beatty (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

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"Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean."
Related Characters: Captain Beatty (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2 Quotes
"Those who don't build must burn. It's as old as history and juvenile delinquents."
Related Characters: Faber (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

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"They are so confident that they will run on forever. But they won't run on. They don't know that this is all one huge big blazing meteor that makes a pretty fire in space, but that someday it'll have to hit."
Related Characters: Faber (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3 Quotes
"What is it about fire that's so lovely? No matter what age we are, what draws us to it?... It's perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out."
Related Characters: Captain Beatty (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

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"Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical."
Related Characters: Captain Beatty (speaker), Guy Montag
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

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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)