In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, when and how does Montag realize he can no longer be a fireman?

In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, when and how does Montag realize he can no longer be a fireman? 

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Montag considers quitting his job as a fireman after a woman commits suicide by burning herself with her books. This event shakes Montag to his core because he doesn't understand why people would kill themselves over books. He decides to stay home sick the day after the woman dies so he can sort the situation out in his mind. He talks to his wife about not going back to work as a fireman, but it isn't until Montag speaks with Professor Faber that he finally decides he doesn't want that job anymore. Montag describes his frustrations with society to Faber by saying,

Nobody listens any more. I can't talk to the walls because they're yelling at me. I can't talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough, it'll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read (82).

Faber teaches Montag about how people in their society don't care about reading, intellectual thinking, or overthrowing the government. If Montag doesn't like the way things are, he will have to do something about it on his own. Faber suggests, however, that the firemen would have to be taken out of the equation before they could convince the populace to support reintroducing books into their society. This talk interests Montag. It gives him a purpose in life because he admits the following to Faber:

This afternoon I thought that if it turned out that books were worthwhile, we might get a press and print some extra copies (85).

The fact that Montag wants to start printing books illegally shows he is not aligned with the philosophy behind his job as a fireman. Once Faber is willing to print more books as long as the firemen aren't a threat anymore, then the plan to frame firemen by planting books in their homes surfaces. When Montag and Faber both commit to this scheme, he officially stops being a fireman. Therefore, Montag realizes he can't be a fireman anymore once he commits to a life of sabotage in order to bring the government down.