Fahrenheit 451. Mechanical Hound comparison help?
So I am doing a summer assignment for my AP English class, and I am really stuck on this part.
Toward the bottom of page 24 there is a short passage that states, 'It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that overrich nectar, and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.'
How and why is it being compared to a 'great bee'?
Please help <3
- ANGELALv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
So the hound is like a bee, and the honey is poisoned with nightmares, and, well… what?
To be fair, the passage makes slightly more sense in context. Montag, a fireman whose principal job is burning books, has just come from an encounter with Clarisse, a teenage free spirit whose giddy inhalation of their natural environment has deeply unsettled Montag’s purely functional existence. In the novel’s future world, books have been made obsolete, perishing primarily due to the public’s lack of interest. Technical manuals and rule books still survive, but the firemen make sure that anyone so foolish as to harbor a forbidden volume regrets the mistake. It is a world protected against the invasion of foreign ideas, anything that Fahrenheit 451might cause people to question their brutally vacant lives. Suicides are commonplace, and children with nothing better to do are regularly killed drag-racing at insane speeds, but this decadent extinction is apparently of less concern than the risk of wakening a thoroughly narcotized society.
Sometimes you don’t even have to have that one small thing in order for you to have a reaction towards it. For example, the Mechanical Hound produces fear in Montag without being in Montag’s possession. You can tell because he describes the hound with so much detail. “ It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that overrich nectar, and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.” (pg 24 Bradbury) Montag is practically describing his fear toward the hound, in a way. The hound is a metal canine if you will, and it really doesn’t have emotions or think just like a normal dog would.Why would it? Yet Montag is still fearful of this “beast”. Maybe Montag isn’t as strong as his fireman title presumes him to be, which could relate to how everyone has a weakness and is not as perfect no matter what their name or reputation may be. This dog is just one small part of the whole burning of the books propaganda and still manages to instill fear in Montag.
The Mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the firehouse. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window, touched here and there on the brass and the copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, gently, gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber-padded paws.
Montag slid down the brass pole. He went out to look at the city and the clouds had cleared away completely, and he lit a cigarette and came back to bend down and look at the Hound. It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that over-rich nectar and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.