Review: The Sieve and the Sand by Ray Bradbury

“The Sieve and the Sand” is the second division of the novel Fahrenheit 451 published in 1953. The book is set on a town which is not mentioned and an American future after 1960. The storyline revolves around the world where books are outlawed and burned by the “firemen”. The firemen have to burn the down both the books and the possession of the person from whom the book was found.

In “The Sieve and the Sand” Montag who is one of the fireman and his wife Mildred are trying to read the book which Montag had stolen from an old woman’s house before he and his co-worker were going to burn it down. While reading the book Montag hears a sniffing and he recognizes it as The Hound while his wife evades his assumption by claiming it to be a random dog. The Hound is an eight-legged robotic dog like creature that is used by the fireman to hunt for outlawed books. They resume their discussion once the sound stops. He believes that maybe the books are the only source to help the society from completely falling apart, than it already is. The conversation is interrupted by Mildred’s friend Ann Bowles and they set up a date to watch the “parlor walls” that night at Mildred’s house.

Montag realizes that they may need someone’s help to understand the books. Faber an English professor came into Montag’s mind, whom he had met in the park a year ago before books were banned. Therefore, he called him up with questions about the book and Faber soon hangs up on him. Montag makes a subway trip to Faber’s house along with a rare copy of the Bible, the book he stole from the woman’s house. Montag forces Faber to help him by carefully ripping the pages of the Bible. Faber hands Montag a homemade ear piece which would help him communicate with Faber easily.

After Montag comes back home, Mildred’s friends, Mrs Bowles and Clara Phelps arrive to watch the parlor walls. Montag tries to engage the women into a conversation which he found meaningful, only to find them unresponsive to any topic. Montag leaves and brings a book of poetry. Seeing the book, the women get confused, whereas faber who is listening to everything quietly gets alarmed. He pursues and recites the poem Dover Beach, causing Mrs, Phelps to cry.

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