Fahrenheit 451

Pages 71-110

How is Faber similar to and different from Montag?

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Faber and Montag both desire knowledge (Montag has just realized how much). They also want to bring down the oppressive system by planting books in the homes of firemen throughout the country and calling in alarms, to shake the people's faith in the men they both fear and revere for "protecting" the nation from the dangers of books. Faber is different than Montag in that he is careful. Montag's enthusiasm and rash behavior are self-destructive.

The introduction of Faber's character into the novel is quite significant. The old man represents knowledge. He is educated and realizes that book banning and book burning has made people less, rather than more, enlightened. Much of the imagery associated with Faber incorporates the color white - his walls, skin, hair, beard, eyes, are all described as white. Thus, his character is portrayed as pure and unspoiled amidst the technology that has sullied the minds and characters of so many others. Faber is likened to water, a cleansing, renewing entity, which, when combined with the fire associated with Montag, should, ideally, give rise to the "wine" of truth and knowledge.