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Wednesday, April 26 • 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Reason Through Religion: The Semiotics Of Fahrenheit 451

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This thesis examines Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 semiotically to determine the role of signs in science and religion. Bradbury aligns Biblical allusions with reading banned literature in his novel to show that religion and intellectual enlightenment are dependent on individual perception. I engage with Marc Angenot, a social theorist and literary critic, and Carl Raschke, a theologian, on the semantics of Science Fiction and Christian rhetoric, in order to demonstrate how both have indistinct signifiers. In doing so my thesis will show how the totalitarian society in Fahrenheit 451 manipulates the imprecision of the scientific and religious language through censorship and distraction, keeping everyone in the novel from the becoming individuals. Further my thesis reveals the signifiers of the physical body that point toward the signified soul through the characters physical and mental conditions in the novel. This physical representation extends itself to the text of the novel, becoming a signifier of the signified metanarrative in Fahrenheit 451. This thesis illuminates the complex intertextuality of the signifier and the signified in Christian rhetoric and Science Fiction, proving that they are both codependent and strictly reliant on individual perception.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 1:00pm - 1:20pm
232 Karpen Hall