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Part 3 (IV)

Montag imagines himself staying comfortably in Faber's house, watching the chase on the tiny screen as it gets closer and closer to where he is, until eventually, he would watch the Hound killing him on the TV screen. But, of course, he decides not to do this. Instead, he tells Faber to burn all the things in the house that Montag touched, to wipe down the surfaces with alcohol, and wash down his sidewalks with lawn sprinklers to eliminate the scent of Montag in Faber';s house. Montag and Faber fill a suitcase with some of Faber's old clothes, to use as a scent trap to confuse the Hound, and Montag leaves the house and starts to run toward the river.

As he runs, Montag can see the TV walls flickering inside all the dark houses. Everyone in the city is watching his manhunt on the screen, as the Mechanical Hound sniffs after his scent trail the Mechanical Hound who is chasing him. Fascinated, Montag pauses at a window and watches the Hound on the screen. The Hound is now just outside of Faber's house, and Montag prays to himself, silently, that the Hound will not smell his scent in Faber's house. Finally, he sees the Hound turns away and runs down the street Montag took.

On his Seashell radio, Montag hears the announcer ordering everyone in the neighborhood to go to their doors and windows, on the count of ten, and look out. That way they will be sure to catch Montag. But he has already passed the last row of houses, and just as the countdown reaches zero and doors and windows open up and down the street, Montag reaches the enormous, moving river.

In the river shallows, Montag opens the suitcase and changes into Faber's old clothes, tossing his own away to be swept away by the current to confuse the Hound. Then he lets himself be swept away too. He feels as if he is being swept away from all the noise and light of the city, into a peaceful darkness.

Montag drifts on the river for a long time, feeling his heart beat more slowly and thinking some very strange thoughts. For example, he decides that the sun burns up Time every day, and so there is no need for people like him to burn things. Instead, the time has come for saving things, for preserving them and guarding them safely.

In the depths of night, Montag comes to shore, deep in the country. The land is dark, quiet, and very huge; he can see more stars than he's ever seen before. As he approaches land, Montag has a tranquil vision of finding some farmhouse to sleep in overnight, where maybe some lovely young farm girl will understand what he needs and give him time to rest and something to eat. He visualizes peace as being represented by an apple, a glass of milk, and a pear.

But as soon as Montag steps ashore, he's overwhelmed by how huge and black the country night is. He feels as if he's drowning in too much land, and, mistaking a wandering deer for the Mechanical Hound, is frightened out of his wits. Walking inland, finally he comes across the iron rail of the railroad track. It rings under his feet like the empty pill bottle he kicked under the bed so many nights ago, and, following it in silence, he has a feeling that Clarisse must have walked here too, long ago.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Part 1 (I)
Part 1 (II)
Part 1 (III)
Part 1 (IV)
Part 1 (V)
Part 2 (I)
Part 2 (II)
Part 2 (III)
Part 3 (I)
Part 3 (II)
Part 3 (III)
Part 3 (IV)
Part 3 (V)
Part 3 (VI)


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