part 2

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  • Mildred kicked at a book. "Books aren't people. You read and I look around, but there isn't anybody!"
  • The professor had tried to hide the book and run away, but after Montag reassured him that he was safe, they talked, and Faber gave him his address and phone number.
  • He asks him how many copies of the Bible, Shakespeare, or Plato are left in the country. Faber, who thinks Montag is trying to trap him, says none are left and hangs up the phone.
  • Montag goes to Faber and shows him the book, which alleviates Faber’s fear of him, and he asks the old man to teach him to understand what he reads
  • Montag imagines Beatty describing the burning pages of a book as black butterflies, an image that recalls Montag’s own joy at the metamorphosis enacted by fire in the opening paragraph of the book.
  • The sand is symbolic of the tangible truth Montag seeks and the sieve of the human mind seeking truth. Truth is elusive and, the metaphor suggests, impossible to grasp in any permanent way.
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