What are two examples of dramatic irony in part 2, "The Sieve and the Sand," of Fahrenheit 451?

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One example of dramatic irony in this section of the text is when Montag returns home from his visit with Faber and Millie's friends burst into his house with their vapid conversation. Montag casually asks them about their missing husbands and whether they are fighting in the war, and one...

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One example of dramatic irony in this section of the text is when Montag returns home from his visit with Faber and Millie's friends burst into his house with their vapid conversation. Montag casually asks them about their missing husbands and whether they are fighting in the war, and one woman replies:

I'm not worried. I'll let Pete do all the worrying. I'll let old Pete do all the worrying. Not me. I'm not worried.

What Montag and the reader have come to understand is that most human relationships in this society are shallow and are missing any real form of human connection. These comments show the dramatic irony; Pete's wife likely considers herself concerned about him in some way but is too shallow to even realize that her superficial feelings about her husband are not borne in actual concern.

On the other hand, a further instance of dramatic irony occurs when Montag believes it possible to somehow connect with this group of superficial women through literature. The reader knows that the only possible outcome of choosing a poem to share with Millie and her friends will be disastrous. They have no depth, no desire for intellectual stimulation, and are more than content to engage in meaningless conversations about entertainment.

So when Montag begins the reading of "The Sea of Faith," the audience knows that this is a tipping point in Montag's life, yet he seems unaware of this, as evidenced by his final line in this section when Beatty confronts him about his choices: "Why, we've stopped in front of my house." The dramatic irony here is that Montag seems unaware that Millie would turn on him, although the reader realizes that Millie is incapable of depth or of leaving her "family" for something of greater substance.

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In literature, dramatic irony is when the audience is aware of something that the characters in the story are not. The audience understands situations and resolutions before the characters do, which often creates a sense of excitement. There are several instances throughout Part 2: The Sieve and the Sand of the novel Fahrenheit 451 that apply dramatic irony to various situations. At the beginning of Part 2, Montag is searching for meaning in life and believes that books contain many answers. He needs help understanding texts and believes he has a very rare book. Montag remembers meeting Faber, the retired English professor, and believes that Faber can help him decipher the texts. Montag calls Faber and asks him how many copies of the Bible, Shakespeare, and Plato are in existence. Faber thinks that he is being recorded, and that Montag is trying to trap him by getting him to admit that he has knowledge of illegal books. The audience is aware that Montag is truly seeking answers and help, while Faber thinks that he is being set up.

Another example of dramatic irony from Part 2 happens when Montag returns home from Faber's house, and Mildred's friends are over. Montag is furious after hearing their ridiculous conversation and is contemplating reading to them and chastising their superficial existence. Mildred is unaware that Montag has the "green bullet" in his ear and is communicating with Faber. Faber asks Montag, "What good is this, what'll you prove?" Montag says, "Scare hell out of them, that's what, scare the living daylights out!" Mildred says, "Now, Guy, just who are you talking to?" (Bradbury 95). The audience knows that Montag is talking to Faber and is about to scare Mildred and her friends. Mildred and her friends have no idea that Montag is talking to Faber and do not expect him to scare them.

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