How did Faber influence Montag in Fahrenheit 451?

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, Faber influences Montag through his intellectual knowledge and background. When Montag decides that he wants to better understand books and their content, for instance, Faber is the person he turns to. As a retired professor, Faber is ideally placed to serve this purpose. In addition, Faber's communication device influences Montag by helping him achieve his goal of wiping out the fireman system from within.

Faber also influences Montag on a philosophical level because he teaches him that it is not so much the books that are important, but what the books contain. This contrasts with what Beatty tells Montag: that books are not wanted by the masses because they offend minority groups. Instead, Faber encourages Montag to realize that books contain the full spectrum of the human experience and that we should not shy away from their messages, whether positive or negative. This idea affects Montag profoundly and contributes to his decision to continue his quest for knowledge, even though his Mildred and Beatty are staunchly opposed to it.

Finally, Faber's influence can be felt at the end of the novel when the city is destroyed. Montag is left wondering if Faber has made it out in time to see his friend, the printer.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Montag initially contacts Faber to help him understand the texts that he has read. Faber, a retired English teacher, explains to Montag the positive qualities of literature but is too afraid to act on his beliefs out of fear that he will be imprisoned or killed by the authoritative government. After describing how books preserve knowledge and examine the "infinite details" of life, Montag becomes excited to challenge the government policy of censoring works of literature. Faber influences Montag by motivating him to pursue the life of an intellectual. Faber eventually agrees to help Montag who is in search of a fulfilling life by giving him the "green bullet" to communicate. After hearing Faber's thoughts about literature and society, Montag is encouraged to not only change his life but also feels motivated to positively impact society by challenging the government's censorship policies. When Montag becomes an enemy of the state, Faber tells him where to find a group of traveling intellectuals. Faber's affinity for knowledge and literature influence Montag to drastically change his life and seek intellectual pursuits.