by Ray Bradbury
Insects and Other Unpleasant Animals
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
There are several references throughout Fahrenheit 451 to essentially yucky animals and insects (that’s the technical term). When Mildred gets her stomach pumped, the machine is like a snake. The earpiece she wears at night is like a praying mantis. The helicopters in the chase scene are described as insects. Even the Mechanical Hound has eight legs, like a spider. Notice a pattern here? These references all have to do with technology – destructive technology that the government uses to control its citizens. It’s basically a perversion of nature and of the natural order, which fits into the larger themes of Fahrenheit 451 (because in this world of destruction without construction, the natural order is off).