In Fahrenheit 451, what approaching disaster is Faber counting on to give the intellectuals a chance to be heard?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Faber is waiting for the war that has been impending since the beginning of the story.  Several times, Bradbury mentions the jets roaring overhead as the country prepares for war.  When Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles, friends of Millie's, are visiting, Mrs. Phelps says her husband was called up by the Army for a quick war; she says he'll be home by next week.  Faber knows however, and Montag comes to realize, that any way that occurs now will be a devastating war.  It will be a nuclear war with catastrophic results.  It is this very catastrophe that Faber is counting on, as is Granger.  They both express the idea that perhaps, like the legendary phoenix that burns itself up every thousand years only to rise again from the ashes, the city and the civilization will be able to rise from the ashes of this war and rebuild itself.  The hope is that this time, when civilization is built, it will learn from the past mistakes and not make them again.  Faber hopes that people will remember and understand the importance of books and of learning. He hopes that they won't become the society that they are at the time; one caught up in instant gratification, pleasure, and bland political correctness.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As was mentioned in the previous post, Faber is waiting for their dystopian society to be destroyed during its next war. Throughout the novel, Bradbury's dystopian society is constantly at war. The threat of an atomic attack looms over the city at all times. When Montag visits Faber's home, Faber sarcastically suggests that they destroy the fireman structure from within by planting books. After dismissing Montag's hopes of overturning the current culture, Faber comments that Montag needs to be patient. Faber believes that their civilization is falling to pieces and will destroy itself in due time. Faber says, "Let the war turn off the `families'" (41).

Faber is not optimistic that the survivors would even accept the knowledge of intellectuals after their civilization is destroyed. Despite Faber's pessimistic views, Montag remains confident and joins a group of traveling intellectuals who remember books in hopes of one day rebuilding a literate, cultured society after their civilization is destroyed.