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Themes

Fahrenheit 451 creates a dichotomy between the world of technology and the world of nature. The former is cold and destructive, while the latter is engaging and informative. It is only in nature that the novel’s main character is able to think clearly and draw conclusions from his experiences. The novel argues that nature, in fact all of life, is a cycle of construction and destruction. This is the natural way of things, but technology has focused only on destruction and violence, leaving man in a devastating, unnatural state.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. We argue that Fahrenheit 451 establishes a dichotomy between technology/control/ignorance and nature/rebellion/wisdom. What is it about trees and rivers that’s so conducive to learning?
  2. Is fire an element of nature or a weapon of man in this novel? Can it be both? Doesn’t that mess up the dichotomy we were just talking about?
  3. What does the Mechanical Hound have to do with this question of nature vs. technology?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Fahrenheit 451 is structurally cyclic to mirror the cyclical quality of the natural world.

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