Quivering on the brink of rebellion against the causal drift of society from humanism to oppression, Professor Faber, a bloodless, white-haired academic who protects his "peanut-brittle bones" and castigates himself for his "terrible cowardice," represents a sterling redeeming quality — a belief in the integrity of the individual. He reveres the magic in literature, which "stitched the patches of the universe into one garment for us."
Because he is over twice Montag's age and was forced into exile forty years earlier, Faber provides the look backward that enables the hero to see how a literate society allowed itself to slide into mechanization and repression. Willing to read books, discuss philosophies, and enable his disciple to escape the avenging dystopia, Faber is reduced to a soothing, insightful, cajoling voice (serving as Montag's conscience) in Montag's ear. However, Faber is invigorated by his contact with Montag, and after the listening device falls into Beatty's hands, he leaves the disintegrating city for St. Louis, where he hopes to produce books with a fellow bibliophile.