Many would be surprised to know that...
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 was serialized in the March, April, and May issues of Playboy magazine way back in 1954.
Fahrenheit 451 is a novel which is beyond customary introductions and polite praises. The story is set in a disturbingly bleak future, where exists a twisted society that burns books, with a view to suppress learning and enlightenment.
The inspiration to write Fahrenheit 451 came to Bradbury from various sources; from the inadequately stocked libraries in his hometown, to the Nazi book burning campaigns, and even from the Great Purge in Stalinist Russia.
The novel's allegorical narrative has ensured that it is replete with various literary devices like similes, metaphors, personification, and allusions. In this post, however, our focus remains on listing some exemplary similes found across all three sections of the novel.
But first, let's understand the simile.
A 'simile' is a figure of speech used to show similarities in two different things. It is not to be confused with a 'metaphor', which is similarly employed to denote likeness. A simile can be singled out as a direct comparison, employing the use of 'like' and 'as'.
Examples of Simile in Fahrenheit 451
Part One | The Hearth and the Salamander
How like a mirror, too, her face.
The electric thimble moved like a praying mantis on the pillow, touched by her hand.
A book alighted, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering.
Montag's hand closed like a mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest.
He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.
He felt his smile slide away, melt, fold over and down on itself like a tallow skin, like the stuff of a fantastic candle burning too long and now collapsing and now blown out.
One of them slid down into your stomach like a black cobra down an echoing well looking for all the old water and the old time gathered there.
Montag, you shin that pole like a bird up a tree.
She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night when you waken to see the time and see the clock telling you the hour and the minute and the second, with a white silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing what it has to tell of the night passing swiftly on toward further darknesses but moving also toward a new sun.
Part Two | The Sieve and the Sand
She was beginning to shriek now, sitting there like a wax doll melting in its own heat.
The night I kicked the pill bottle in the dark, like kicking a buried mine.
How like a beautiful statue of ice it was, melting in the sun. I remember the newspapers dying like huge moths.
Montag sat like a carved white stone.
They rounded a corner in thunder and siren, with concussion of tyres, with scream of rubber, with a shift of kerosene bulk in the glittery brass tank, like the food in the stomach of a giant; with Montag's fingers jolting off the silver rail, swinging into cold space, with the wind tearing his hair back from his head, with the wind whistling in his teeth, and him all the while thinking of the women, the chaff women in his parlour tonight, with the kernels blown out from under them by a neon wind, and his silly damned reading of a book to them. How like trying to put out fires with water-pistols, how senseless and insane.
His fingers were like ferrets that had done some evil and now never rested, always stirred and picked and hid in pockets, moving from under Beatty's alcohol-flame stare.
Part Three | Burning Bright
The stars poured over his sight like flaming meteors.
Now, a full three seconds, all of the time in history, before the bombs struck, the enemy ships themselves were gone half around the visible world, like bullets in which a savage islander might not believe because they were invisible.
The men lay gasping like fish laid out on the grass.
The concussion knocked the air across and down the river, turned the men over like dominoes in a line, blew the water in lifting sprays, and blew the dust and made the trees above them mourn with a great wind passing away south.
The books leapt and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers.