How does Montag describe his life when he encounters Faber? How does Faber describe his life since Montag has connected with him?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Montag's first encounter with Faber occurs a year prior to the events in the novel. He recalls the meeting in the park. At first, Faber is scared because Montag is a fireman. But then Faber opens up and even recites two poems to Montag. When Montag finally calls him on the phone (present time in the novel), he asks how many Bibles are left. Again, Faber claims ignorance and hangs up the phone because he doesn't want to be arrested. So, their first two encounters are short and Faber is frightened of being arrested in each case. In their first meeting at the park, Montag was mildly curious. But after meetings with Clarisse in the present time, Montag has become much more interested in books. At this point in his life, Montag is undergoing a transformation. We might even call it an awakening. He had been brainwashed not to think. Now, he is thinking critically for the first time and he has become addicted to it. He needs a teacher. 

Faber feels that he has been living the life of a coward. He loves books and knowledge but he hides this from the authorities because he doesn't want to make trouble. He blames himself because he did nothing to stop the encroachment of this oppressive style of governing and burning books: 

"Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going, a long time back. I said nothing. I'm one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to the `guilty,' but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself." 

Montag and Faber discuss books and Montag shares his thoughts on rebelling from this oppressive society. Faber eventually agrees to become like a mentor to him. Although Faber initially stays hidden in his house (connected to Montag through the radio receiver in his ear), he is invigorated by Montag's passion to change. Faber repeats his guilt about his cowardice when he meets Montag again, but he is willing to help. In the end, Faber does leave his home for St. Louis. This shows that Faber is now determined to be a bigger part of the underground rebellion he and Montag have spoken of. Montag has awakened this spirit in Faber that had been dormant.