What plan do Montag and Faber devise in Fahrenheit 451?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Faber and Montag’s plan is to hide books in firemen’s houses to implicate them all over the country and arouse suspicion.

When Montag first meets Faber, he is intrigued by the old man.  Faber used to be an English professor before the last college closed down due to lack of students.  At first, he is suspicious of Montag.  Montag tries to ask him how many copies of various books are left, and he tells him none.  Montag tracks him down, and they have a real conversation when Montag convinces the man that he is genuine.  Then Montag shares his plan.  He wants to print extra copies of books.  Faber scoffs at him.  He has his own plan.

Now if you suggest that we print extra books and arrange to have them hidden in firemen's houses all over the country, so that seeds of suspicion would be sown among these arsonists, bravo, I'd say!" (Part 2)

When Faber first suggests the plan, he isn’t serious.  Montag is, however.  He has a list of firemen’s houses, and no love lost for the fire department.  He has lost faith in his community, and his entire worldview has been shaken.  He feels a desperate need to take action.  He tells Faber he has nothing to lose.

Faber gives Montag a small earpiece like a Seashell Radio to wear in his ear, so he can communicate with him.  Then Montag goes back, but he points out that he won't blindly follow Faber. 

"I don't want to change sides and just be told what to do. There's no reason to change if I do that." (Part 2)

Faber tells him he is wise already. He couldn't agree with Montag more!

As with most complicated plans, this one falls apart.  Montag ends up killing his boss, Fire Captain Beatty, and going on the run spectacularly from the mechanical hound, when his wife calls the fire department on him.  Meanwhile, the entire civilization seems to self-destruct around them.  Montag runs away to Faber and a group of other like-minded book lovers who pretty much just sit back and wait for the rest of them to destroy each other so they can pick up the pieces.

Bradbury’s message is hardly subtle, but it is still meaningful.  Books carry more than just our words—they carry our heritage.  They are our soul.  A soulless society like the one Montag lived in will implode, and is not worth living in anyway.

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