In Fahrenheit 451, Faber says, "I'm the queen bee, safe in my hive. You will be the drone, the travelling ear." What type of literary device is this and what does he mean?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"I'm the queen bee, safe in my hive. You will be the drone, the travelling ear" (90).

Faber says the above quote after giving his friend Montag a two-way listening device that he calls a "green bullet." The bullet is placed into the ear canal so no one can see it. Through it, Faber and Montag can speak and listen to each other inconspicuously. Faber declares himself a coward who will stay home and help Montag carry out their plans to sabotage the firemen. The plan is to plant books in firemen's houses so they will be reported and their own houses will be burned to the ground. Faber only wants to stay home and encourage Montag in his efforts, so he uses a metaphor when he says, "I'm the queen bee." This is a metaphor because he compares two unlike things in the same phrase and reference. However, once Faber says, "safe in my hive. You will be the drone," he is making an analogy. An analogy is an extended metaphor. Faber is showing that not only is he going to be a director of the plans like a queen bee, but he is also going to stay in the hive. Then, Montag is applied to the analogy by being compared to a worker bee, or drone, who goes about executing the orders of the queen.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a metaphor, as Professor Faber suggests that he is a Queen Bee and that Montag will be safe as a member of his hive.  He uses this as well because he has found a way to listen in to the events surrounding Montag by using the earpiece and the receiver he has in his home.  And he can send Montag out on the various missions but Faber will do the thinking and the planning, Montag can simply go out and do the things he asks him to do without worrying about the details or the consequences or what will come next.