In "Fahrenheit 451" what does Montag do to the Black family?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Mildred sounds the alarm in her own house because of Montag’s books, there is a drastic turn of events. Montag’s house is set ablaze and he kills Captain Beatty with the flamethrower before fleeing. While on the run with his books, he makes a stopover at Mr. Black’s house, his fellow fireman. Montag then plants the books in his kitchen, exits the house and then called in the alarm from a distance for the house to be burnt down. He frames the Black family so that their house can be torched as payback for the innumerable times Mr. Black had burnt down other people’s homes and caused so much hurt without remorse. This was in accordance with the plan which he had earlier on shared with Faber about planting books in firemen’s houses so as to stir distrust in the machinery charged with the responsibility of destroying books. By doing so, Montag anticipated that the fire department would collapse, thus paving way for book preservation. Indeed, Montag is pleased with himself for what he had just done as evidenced later on in the scene when he watched the proceedings of the Black house on television.

mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On the way to Faber's house, while he is on the run, Montag sneaks up to the Black's house, and plants some books in it.  Black is a fireman, and earlier in the book, Montag and Faber came up with a plan to plant books in firemen's homes, so that they will be framed and burned.  Their hope was to slowly annihilate any chance of any house getting burned again; if they burn the source of the burning, then hopefully they can get a foothold and start books circulating again.  So, even though Montag is on the run, he decides to at least start the plan that he had come up with, and "he hid the books in the kitchen and moved from the house," heading on to Faber's house.  In the end, it doesn't really matter, since the entire city gets bombed, but it is significant that Montag was willing to frame a man of his trade in order to give books a fighting chance.  He has changed quite a bit from the man who loved burning that we saw at the beginning of the novel.  -