In the infamous Hound chase scene, where does Montag go and why? What significance does this have on the novel as a whole?

Expert Answers
ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Montag goes first to the river, so the hound cannot pick up his scent. Then he follows the railroad tracks out of town. He meets some men who are "book covers", people who have memorized books. One of the men gives Montag a chemical which will make the hound unable to pick up Montag's scent. Montag then joins the book covers.This signifies that he has chosen to leave his society for good. Eventually, Montag's former world is destroyed by war and the covers are able to begin a new society.
pac7livin | Student

After leaving Faber's house, Montag finds himself caught in a serious situation after the Parlor revealed that the Mechanical Hound- with its lethal intentions- is actively seeking Montag's head. Montag, wanted for murder and corruption, sprints off through town with his hope set on reaching the river.  The river is his ideal destination, because it will mask his scent that the Hound is actively pursuing.  The scene of Montag jumping into the river is symbolic, because it serves as a moment of cleansing one's past, almost leaning to an idea of new life and re-birth, a second chance perhaps.  Soon after, a scapegoat is selected, and a fake Montag is officially declared "dead" in the news.  The river marks the transition into Montag's cleansed life, in which no longer carries the burden of having to go to work as a book burning fireman.