Fahrenheit 451 Part II: The Sieve and the Sand, Section 1 Summary and Analysis | SparkNotes (2023)

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Do you know why books like this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? For me it means texture. this book hascouples.

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to assembleYMildredspend the afternoon reading. The Mechanical Hound comes and sniffs at the door. Montag speculates on what he did.Clarisseso unique. Mildred refuses to talk about someone who is dead and complains that she prefers the people and pretty colors on her TV walls to her books. Montag feels that the books can somehow help him out of his ignorance, but he doesn't understand what he is reading and decides that he needs to find a teacher. He remembers one afternoon a year ago when he called an old English teacherfaberin the park. It was obvious that Faber had read a book of poetry before Montag's arrival. The professor had tried to hide the book and run, but after Montag assured him that he was safe, they talked and Faber gave him his address and phone number. Now Montag calls the professor. He asks her how many copies of the Bible, Shakespeare or Plato are still left in the country. Faber, believing that Montag is trying to catch him, says that there are none left and hangs up.

(Video) Fahrenheit 451 | Part 2 (Montag and Mildred Read and Talk) | Summary & Analysis | Ray Bradbury

Montag goes back to his stack of books and discovers that he has taken what may be the last extant copy of the old woman's Bible. He is considering hiring a replacement.hermosa(who knows he has at least one book), but realizes that if Beatty knows which book he took, the boss will assume he has a full library if he gives him another book. He decides to make a duplicate before that night. Mildred tells her that some of her friends are coming to watch TV with her. Montag, still trying to get in touch with her, rhetorically asks if the "family" on TV loves her. She dismisses the question from her. She takes the subway to Faber's and tries to memorize Bible verses on the way. A jingle of Denham's Dentifrice distracts him, and he finally stands up in front of all the passengers and yells at the radio to shut up, waving his book around. The stunned passengers begin to call for a security guard, but Montag gets off at the next stop.

Montag goes to Faber and shows him the book, which eases Faber's fear of him, and he asks the old man to show him what he is reading. Faber says that Montag doesn't know the real reason for his dissatisfaction and only suspects that he has something to do with the books, since they are the only things he knows for sure that are gone. Faber insists that it is not the books themselves that Montag is looking for, but the meaning they contain. The same meaning could be incorporated into existing media like television and radio, but people no longer demand it. Faber likens his superficial society to flowers trying to live on flowers instead of good, substantial soil: people are unwilling to accept the basic realities and unpleasant aspects of life.

Faber says that people need quality information, the free time to process it, and the freedom to act on what they learn. He defines quality information as structured and detailed knowledge about life, knowledge about the "pores" of the face of humanity. Faber agrees with Mildred that TV seems "more real" than books, but she doesn't like it because it is too intrusive and controlling. At the very least, books allow the reader to write them down, giving them time to reflect and reason about the information they contain.

Montag suggests planting books in firefighters' homes to discredit the profession and watch firehouses burn. However, Faber doesn't think this action gets to the bottom of the problem and laments that firefighters aren't really needed to suppress the books because the public of their own accord stopped reading them even before they were burned. Faber says that they just have to be patient as the coming war will eventually mean the death of television families. Montag concludes that they could use this as an opportunity to retrieve books.

(Video) Fahrenheit 451 Part 2: "The Sieve & the Sand" (1/3)

Montag breaks Faber out of his cowardice by tearing page after page out of the treasured Bible, and Faber finally agrees to help, revealing that he knows someone with a printing press that used to print his college newspaper. Montag asks Beatty for help that night, and Faber gives him a walkie-talkie he developed that fits in Montag's ear. That way, the teacher can listen to what Beatty has to say and tell him Monday as well. Montag decides to risk giving Beatty a spare book and Faber agrees to see his printer friend.


Mildred's refusal to talk about Clarisse because she is dead shows her denial of death, a denial that characterizes society as a whole. This denial is related to the widespread ignorance of history and fear of books because history and books connect readers to the dead. Instead, Montag wonders why books written by the dead remind him of Clarisse. Openly accepting and contemplating death, Faber tells Faber that his wife is dying and that a friend of his is already dead, along with someone who may have been a friend (ie the old lady). Still not seeing any potential benefit in reading, Mildred is upset by the danger Montag is putting her in by asking her if she isn't more important than a Bible. Montag hopes that reading will help you understand the mistakes that have since led the world to two nuclear wars.1990and who made the rest of the world hate his country for his narcissistic hedonism.

Read more about knowledge versus ignorance.

Faber becomes a more important figure in this section. Faber may have planted the seeds of Montag's internal revolution in the park the year before, when he told the fireman that he wasn't talking about things, he was talking about the meaning of things, and that's how he knew he was alive. This theme of the deeper meanings necessary for life is central to the book. And though Montag knew he had a book in his pocket, Faber gave him his address so Montag could decide whether to befriend him or give him up. When Montag visited Faber, he told the professor that he just wanted someone to listen to him talk until he started to make sense. He acknowledges his own ignorance, which shows his growing self-confidence, and looks forward to learning from Faber.

(Video) Fahrenheit 451 Part II | The Sieve and the Sand

Read an in-depth analysis of Faber.

Although Faber is a strong moral voice in the novel, his self-proclaimed flaw of cowardice also appears in this section. Reluctant to risk helping Montag, he finally agrees to do so using only his audio transmitter and hides behind this device while Montag risks his life.

Read more about why Faber thinks he's a coward.

Montag's new resolve is also fragile at this point in the novel. He expresses his concern that Beatty might persuade him to return to his previous life. Montag imagines Beatty describing the burning pages of a book as black butterflies, an image reminiscent of Montag's own delight at the metamorphosis effected by fire in the book's first paragraph.

(Video) Fahrenheit 451: The Sieve and the Sand

Read more about Beatty's role as an antagonist.

An important symbol is expressed in the title of this section, "The Sieve and the Sand," which comes from Montag's childhood memory of trying to fill a sieve with sand on the beach to get a dime from a mischievous cousin. , and over futility he cried of duty. He likens this recollection to trying to read the entire Bible as quickly as possible on the subway, hoping that if he reads fast enough some of the material will stick in his memory. The sand symbolizes the tangible truth that Montag seeks and the sieve of the human spirit that seeks the truth. Truth is elusive and, as the metaphor suggests, not permanently grasped.

Read more about "The Sieve and the Sand" as a symbol.


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