Fahrenheit 451

Interpreting Allusions in Fahrenheit 451 10th Grade

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury presents a recurring theme that individual activism can fight government oppression. An allusion is a literary device in which the writer refers to another work or author, and Bradbury relies on this to show relationships between books and to make connections to history and literary heritage. Bradbury uses allusions to Mahatma Gandhi, Walt Whitman, and Edna St. Vincent Millay to demonstrate how many great people made a stand and went against common beliefs. Like Guy Montag, the protagonist in the novel, these figures had to fight against the grain with rare ardor while mostly alone. They prove how sacrifice and speaking out benefits others, even if it takes them awhile to see a different point of view.

Mahatma Gandhi, born in 1869, was a well-known and admired peace activist. While in South Africa, he tried to end discrimination against the Indian minority; later, he succeeded in having a law passed to end this discrimination. Once he returned to India, he worked on winning India its independence from Britain. He believed in countries self-governing, and he feared British influence upon Indian culture and life. Although he was unsuccessful, he kept hope and started to work inside of India. He...

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