Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is written with many recurring symbols. After reading the book, I never thought that the mechanical hound was one of them, though my friend told me otherwise.

Did the mechanical hound signify anything in Fahrenheit 451?


It's a symbol of how good, useful tools we grant to or accept from our government can quickly and easily become tools of oppression. As an example, some would argue that modern US equivalent of this might be the NSA.

Mechanical Hounds were, as Easterly Irk notes, a useful invention, originally. They've found people who might be injured or unconscious. They were good tools. However, as time went on, they grew increasingly oppressive. The government took the technology, what started out as a strong positive influence in the world of Fahrenheit 451, and encouraged its use for illicit purposes, abusing it to suppress free thought.


The hound represents the government's control and advanced technology.

Originally, dogs served the firemen. They sniffed out the injured or weak. However, in this dystopia, the dog has been made into a watchdog of society, punishing those who don't obey the rules set by the government.

  • 2
    Please back this up. Aug 17 '17 at 23:06

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