Literature Study GuidesFahrenheit 451Part 2 Montag Talks With Faber Summary

Fahrenheit 451 | Study Guide

Ray Bradbury

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Part 2 | Montag Talks with Faber

Course Hero’s video study guide provides in-depth summary and analysis of Part 2 | The Sieve and the Sand (Montag Talks with Faber) of Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451.

Fahrenheit 451 | Part 2 (Montag Talks with Faber) : The Sieve and the Sand | Summary

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Summary

When Montag arrives at Faber's house, Faber hesitates before letting him in because he knows Montag is a fireman. After Montag explains his purpose, Faber reveals his history, labeling himself as a coward for not speaking out publicly against the social changes that led to the political situation. Faber explains why books are an important safeguard against the broadcast media and its barrage of empty entertainment. Montag suggests printing more books as a way to change the world. Faber rejects the idea and jokes about printing books to plant in firemen's homes. Montag takes him seriously until Faber sets him straight. Montag suggests other solutions, but Faber says they aren't enough: the entire civilization needs to be reworked.

Exasperated at Faber's negativity, Montag starts shredding a Bible in front of him. This shocks Faber into action. After pleading with Montag not to destroy the Bible, he admits he knows a retired printer and that they could print new books. Faber also gives Montag a little earpiece he has built, as small as the Seashell Radio Mildred continually wears in her ears. Faber suggests Montag wear it, and Faber will talk him through difficult encounters, guiding him about what to do and say. They also plan for Faber to read to Montag as he drifts off to sleep.

Analysis

This scene advances the plot while revealing more of Montag's character. His impulse when he realizes the current regime is flawed is to take immediate, direct action, so he mistakes Faber's joke about hiding books in firemen's homes for an actual suggestion.

In addition to being a man of action, Montag is impatient. When Faber tries to counsel Montag to be patient, he responds by shredding a Bible. This upsets Faber enough to make him agree to help Montag. In the end they don't do what either man had planned but instead decide on a compromise. They find ways to reuse technology for a better purpose and deal with the multimedia and ideological assaults of the dominant culture through teamwork. On a personal level the partnership means Montag is not so isolated.

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