"Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore." How is this quote from Fahrenheit 451 good advice?

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Faber says this. The larger context of the quote is as follows:

Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.

Montag has approached Faber because he is increasingly disturbed by the idea of continuing being a fireman and burning books. He now wishes to read books. When Faber says, jokingly, that the answer is to sabotage the firemen, Montag takes him seriously. Faber realizes that Montag is sincere, and so tells him—or warns him—that it is not books themselves that matter, but the knowledge in them. He says that saving books by itself is not going to save society: there is no one magic cure to all social ills. Faber also says that waiting around for salvation is not the answer.

At that point, we get to the quote. Faber means here that we have to be risk takers and proactive: he uses the image of "do your own bit of saving:" in other words, see the drowning person, swim out to save him, and if you die while pulling him to shore, at least you are doing the right thing.

This is good advice because it means participating in solving problems, taking the initiative to help others, and being the change you want to see. This is especially important in a society like Montag's, where everyone is taught to be passive and quietly accept the way the world is while immersing themselves in televised fantasies.

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Though this quote many initially seem a little defeatist, Ray Bradbury is actually giving his readers an encouraging piece of advice. Like the Latin carpe diem, meaning "seize the day," Bradbury is saying that you need to take a stand for something - do something with your life!

He is reiterating in Fahrenheit 451 that in this society in which you don't always have a lot of choice in what you do or what happens to you, you might as well take a stand for what you believe in. It's like if you are out at sea, like the people of this society are, you want to be trying to head towards the shore, or start thinking for yourself.

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This is good advice because it stresses the importance of self-reliance, self-knowledge, and independence. The foundation of this quote is the idea that each of us understands what is best for our individual selves. Therefore, saving ourselves without relying on others to do it for us is the only absolutely reliable option. Because self-knowledge is so vital, we can rely on it even if we are unsuccessful in our endeavours in life. Therefore if we die trying, we do so at least with the knowledge that we were on the correct path. Hope this helps!

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This is advice that Faber gives to Montag when Montag comes over to his house for the first time.  Basically, he is telling Montage two things.  First, don't rely on others to save you and second, you have to start trying, even if the job looks too large to ever complete successfully.

I would say that both of these are good pieces of advice.  It seems to me that we should all try to take care of our own problems if at all possible.  And we should not be discouraged if a problem seems too big to handle.  It makes sense to get started in on it and do your best -- it's the only way you'll have any chance of actually fixing the problem.

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