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Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury
Allusion Project

GOAL: to recognize the importance of allusions in literary works.

ASSIGNMENT: You will research the different writers, historical

figures, and elements that are mentioned in Fahrenheit 451 and/or
whose famous remarks are quoted in the novel.


1. Allusion is a brief reference within a literary work, such as a
famous person, event, fictional character, or quotation.
Fahrenheit 451, from the opening epigraph by Juan Ramon
Jimenez to the final quotation at the end of the novel, is filled
with biblical, historic, literary and mythological allusions.

2. Take a look at the compiled allusions from the novel (pages 2

and 3 of this document).

3. As you read the novel, choose five allusions (from the

beginning, middle and end of novel) and research them.

4. Create a literary guide, titled “A Guide to Allusions in Fahrenheit

451,” using the following information for each allusion:

Quote from Fahrenheit

Quote the passage from Fahrenheit that includes the allusion and cite
the page number.
Allusion Explanation
Research the allusion. Explain or summarize the information. Make
note of the source, author, time period if relevant. Include any
contextual information necessary to the understanding of the allusion.
Explain the effect of the allusion on the passage/novel and the insight
it provides for the reader
Cite the Original Source
Include author, title, page number if applicable
Header Describing Type of Allusion
Include a header that indicates whether the allusion is biblical, historic,
literary or mythological
Include a Visual or Two
What should each page look like? See the sample page at the end of
this document.


1) We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed.

As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which
makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at least
one which makes the heart run over.

2) That favourite subject, myself.

3) Half out of the cave.

4) Consider the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they…

5) Who are little wise,

the best fools be.

6) All we like sheep have gone astray.

7) Truth is truth
to the end of reckoning.

8) They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.

9) Sweet food of sweetly uttered knowledge

10) Words are like leaves; and where

They most abound

Much fruit of sense beneath

Is rarely found.

11) A little learning is a dangerous thing;

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian

There shallow draughts intoxicate

The brain,

And drinking largely sobers us again.

12) Knowledge is more than equivalent to force

13) He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an

14) The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.

15) This age thinks better of a gilded


Than of a threadbare saint in

wisdom’s school.

16) The dignity of truth is lost with much protesting.

17) Carcasses bleed at the sight of the murderer.

18) Knowledge is power.

19) …a dwarf standing on the

Shoulders of a giant may see
Farther than a giant himself.

20) The folly of mistaking…a metaphor

For proof, a torrent of verbiage for a
Spring of capital truths, and oneself
For an oracle, is inborn in us.

21) A kind
Of excellent dumb discourse.

22) There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, for

I am arm’d so strong in honesty that they pass by
Me as an idle wind, which I respect not.

23) Crying in the wilderness

24) To everything there is a season

25) And on the other side of the river was there a tree of life,
which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every
month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the

1) Cheshire Cat 12) Phoenix

2) Dante 13) Tower of Babel
3) Hamlet 14) “The Tyger,” William
4) Hercules and Anteus Blake
5) Icarus 15) Henry David Thoreau’s
Biblical Allusion
6) The Book of Job Walden
7) Uncle Tom’s Cabin 16) Whitman
8) Ecclesiastes
9) Aristophanes
10) Magna Carta “This great
11) Millay

Passage from Fahrenheit 451

“With the brass nozzle in his fists, with THIS GREAT
PYTHON spitting its venomous kerosene upon the
world, the blood pounded in his head, and his
hands were the hands of some amazing conductor
playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning
to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of
history” (Bradbury 3).

“This great python” refers to the fire hose, which resembles a great
serpent. The hose is a key image in the novel. It serves as a reminder
of Adam and Eve’s temptation to disobey God in the Garden of Eden.
The hose or “great python” represents the burning desire within the
firefighters, and the culture in general, to destroy without
consideration. In effect, they are acting without thought of
consequences, much as Adam and Eve behaved in Paradise.

Original Source
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had
made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any
tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the
garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that
when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing
good and evil.” (Genesis 3: 1-5)

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