What Are Some Examples of Personification in “Fahrenheit 451”?

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Many examples of personification occur in Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451,” and most of them have to do with the violent power that the government exercises over its citizens. For example, early in the book, some jet planes fly overhead, “whistling a single note” over the entire sky. Given the fact that nuclear war is imminent in the story, this is definitely a menacing whistle, and it adds to the fear that the characters feel.

Some of the examples of personification in the story reveal the inner feelings of the main characters. For example, Guy Montag’s eyes feel a hunger to look at something, or even anything. This lack of visual stimulation is a source of frustration for Montag and others in the book, and using this expression shows how deep the frustration runs. When the bell rings in the firehouse later, it “kick[s] itself” 200 times. Using this verb to express the ring shows that there is frustration even within the authority itself, as the bell has to spur itself to ring in this unusual way.

Personification is a literary device that gives human abilities to inanimate objects or, in some cases, animals. The general purpose is to lend a human degree of emotion to the narration of the story by adding the feeling to the object, as opposed to just stating the mood of the day.