Fahrenheit 451

by: Ray Bradbury

Five Key Questions

4) How does Montag know about Faber?

Montag initially encountered Faber in a park before the events of the novel. Montag recalls the incident, which began with Faber hiding something suspicious in his coat pocket. When Montag approached him, Faber reacted with fear, but eventually grew courageous enough to admit that he was a retired English professor. Faber also recited poetry, and declared, “I don’t talk things, sir...I talk the meaning of things.” Montag felt intrigued but confused by Faber’s enigmatic words, and he knew that if he frisked the man he’d find a book in his pocket. But Montag recalls his own body’s refusal to carry out the actions: “His hands stayed on his knees, numb and useless.” This interaction with Faber likely represents the first time Montag involuntarily refuses to do his job as a fireman. Montag wrote a report on Faber that he never officially filed, and in the present, he digs out the report to retrieve Faber’s phone number and address.