In "Fahrenheit 451" how do books have pores?

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That description is one that Faber gives to Montag as one of the reasons that books are so wonderful.  It's an interesting phrase, and takes a bit of thinking to get your brain around.  Faber calls it quality.  He states that a book has "features.  This book can go under the microscope...The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper."  What he means by this is that books record every detail of life, even the ugly ones.  Compare it to a magazine picture of a model, versus a snapshot you take of a friend.  The model is gorgeous, make-up on, buffed, shined, air-brushed-and hence, not a true reflection of life.  How many people actually look like that?  Now consider your snapshot of a friend.  You can see their pores, blemishes, and shiny spots-but at least it's real.  Faber is stating that books don't shy away from presenting real life, and as a result, they have more quality.  We can learn more from them because they are truthful and non-deceptive.  He goes on to say that "the good writers touch life often.  The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her."  So, good writers do a good job of relaying life and all that it has to offer-good and bad.  In Montag's society, nothing presented is quality or real; it's all fake, surface, dense, and shallow.  Nothing has pores, nothing is real, and as a result, everyone is miserable.  I hope that helps explain it a bit!

Read the study guide:
Fahrenheit 451

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question