"Man, when I was younger I shoved my ignorance in people’s faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn." p.135 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

What does the instrument the author is referring to in the given passage represent in this context?

1 Answer 1


Blunt instrument is an idiom from pathology and law enforcement referring to any object used to cause blunt force trauma. Essentially, the word "instrument" here is used in a sense more or less synonymous with "tool", with contextual strong implications of "weapon". Metaphorically, the blunt instrument, contrasted with the fine cutting point of a knife, represents crudeness of his behaviour/attitudes in youth as opposed to a wiser, more refined approach in maturity.

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