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Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

Analysis: What’s Up With the Epigraph?

Epigraphs are like little appetizers to the great entrée of a story. They illuminate important aspects of the story, and they get us headed in the right direction.

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.
Juan Ramón Jiménez

Fahrenheit 451 is all about rebellion against seemingly overwhelming opposition. Extending the metaphor to the detailed portions of the novel reveals a clear parallel: the lines on the paper reflect the rigidity of Guy Montag’s world – the rules of behavior, the mental oppression, the intellectual subjugation. Writing “the other way” is representative of insurrection – the same kind of insurrection in which Montag indulges through books and the seeking of knowledge.

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