The Hope of the Phoenix
The word phoenix had symbolize immortality, but for the people in Fahrenheit 451, their only hope was that the phoenix would be burn out, and be reborn again. The myth of the phoenix gave optimism to the life of Montag, to the books, and to the world of Fahrenheit 451. The world was now dying, and nobody seemed to care, because the government had brainwashed the people. It was a situation, where not only the brave, but the ones who can think for themselves, who can help break the government s control.
The life Montag had been a bumpy road. He thought he had a good life, because he enjoyed his job, and was happy. Soon Montag discovered that he was not happy at all, and that his life was nothing. His wife Mildred did not love him at all, and his only friend (that he could remember) Clarisse died in a car crash. All of sudden, he was not happy, but he did not know why. He thought maybe because his wife had pulled the fire alarm on him, but really it was he did not love her at all. “It s strange, I don t miss her at all(155)” Montag had uncertainly about his marriage, because marriage was suppose to be bonded with love, but with his marriage love was extinct and nowhere to be seen. His life had died, when his wife Mildred pulled the alarm and had told the firemen that Montag had books. To Montag, the books was like a sweet piece of candy. He did not know why he liked them, but he always wanted more. But when Captain Beatty forced Montag to burn his own house, Montag s soul had died, but then resurrected. His life which was suppose to be happy was burning right in front of his eyes. How ironic, that Montag was a fireman himself but like the phoenix, Montag rose from his own ashes. Montag was now reborn, because he knew his life was wrong, and that the world was wrong. He did not know why it was wrong, but he knew that he had to do something about it. He started that by burning Captain Beatty into “a charred wax doll(119)”. Montag now had the feeling of hope, not much since he believed he could not do anything. But Montag had now broken the control of the government and was using the books as his aid.
How ironic, in the real world, people were always talking about how people wasted paper, which mean wasting trees, but in the world of Fahrenheit 451, every tree that had been cut down, and was use for books was now being burned away. To the people of Fahrenheit 451 “books show the pores the face of life,(83)”. The people were scared and uncertain about books, so society decided to hire firemen to burn the books. Although most people were scared of books, the books acted like their own phoenix by giving people some hope. People like Montag, and Faber. If it wasn t for the law of prohibiting books, Montag might have never seen the light, and if wasn t for the old woman burning herself with books, Montag might have seen what the books actually meant to people, therefore the books themselves have been reborn. Ironic, that books were made to be read, but even without reading, Montag was able to see what they meant to society.
The world of Fahrenheit 451 WAS quite different from the world now. Instead of people fighting for equal rights, people were already equal. Equal in everything from physical abilities to mental abilities. No problem right? But one constant problem was everyone were always trying to commit suicide. They tried this, because living in the world of Fahrenheit 451 was like hell, because nobody was allowed to think, express their ideas, or to enjoy life. It seemed the world had no hope in changing, because the government thought that they had destroyed the main force against them, books. But the people themselves were optimistic about living a better world, and now had formed an alliance to help restore the world. Montag was one of them, he and many others believed a new world with individuality. All a sudden the phoenix symbolized the suicides, the books and hope. If it wasn t for the suicides, the books, the hope, many people in Fahrenheit 451 would be still living in a nightmare, because they would live in a world, where they would living a life that was controlled by someone. Like the old saying goes out of the old and in with the new really fitted as the motto for the world of Fahrenheit 451 . Many people were dying because they just wanted to escape from the world, but some believed that if they die, a new world will be born with individuality, hoping this time the world would not fly too close to the sun.
Hope was a word, many people used to help them succeed in something, but for the people in Fahrenheit 451, the word phoenix was the driving force that would help them fly over the fire. This was a world, which many people had hoped to live in, because in this world nothing happened, and that was the problem. Nothing did happen. Nothing. It was a world where being equal had a price, a price which many people would never want, their individuality. How ironic, although the government tried hard to control the people, it was a myth that came and helped guide the people through the way. A myth that came from books, that were now being burned. It was a myth which people were not allowed to read about, but at the end, the myth over came all obstacles and now had brightened the sun for many. This event had helped proved that not everyone could every be equal, because there would always be people who would write the other way.
Written by: Vivian Chan