Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fahrenheit 451: Clarisse McClellan

Only for the first few pages, there is this girl, Clarisse McClellan. She is very different than the other girls, or boys, or even people in general, that Montag has met. She is very, well, intriguing. In the first few pages, Montag is walking home after a day of work, and just as he is about to walk around a corner, he feels someone standing right there on the other side of the wall. As he goes around the corner, he feels a strange lack of presence, as if something was just waiting there a second ago. He looks around to find nothing there and continues on his way home. A day later, he comes to the same corner to have the same feeling, but this time when he rounds the corner, he meets a young girl, Clarisse. She is seventeen years old, and her family is much more open to differences than the world is allowing. She is very spontaneous and full of spunk for a late teenager. Clarisse McClellan sees the world as fun rather than time-consuming or laborous. She sees the world's potential beauty in the clouds and likes to be outside to breath the fresh, clean air. These actions are very strange for anyone in the novel. Most people look to stay out of trouble from the police, but Clarisse embraces it and spreads her joy into Montag's life. She asks questions and wants to know why things happen instead of how things happen. These odd traits are what attracts Montag's attention. He feels happy when they are talking with each other, instead of him talking to his wife or a friend. Even though her family is very much like her and unlike the rest of the world, they seem genuinely happy with how they are living. Then, mysteriously, the McClellans disappear, leaving Montag behind, extremely confused and wondering where they went. He finds out that she is most likely dead, along with her family.

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