Book Analysis of Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451 is a book written by Ray Bradbury showing a dystopian future where people are more interested in interacting with technology then interacting with each other. However, one person in this fictional world stands out this person being Clarisse McClellan. While everyone else in this fictional world is focused on themselves Clarisse is the opposite preferring to have conversations with others than to be by herself using technology. Clarisse being this unique personality in an world where everyone else is a mindless drone makes her stand out to all but most importantly to Guy Montag the protagonist. Guy Montag is motivated by Clarisse to look past the happy facade that is presented by his society and dive deeper to see if anything he knows is truly what he believes it to be.
Montag first meets Clarisse one night when he was walking home from the fire station. Clarisse who was also on her way home had a conversation with Montag. During this conversation, Clarisse asks Montag if he is truly happy while Montag quickly confirms that he is in the back of his mind he starts to wonder if that is actually true. Then once Clarisse leaves Montag realizes, “He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.” (Bradbury 9). This is when Montag is first introduced to the idea his society may not be what he thought it was. Montag thought he was happy and everyone in his society was happy but Clarisse shows him otherwise. Clarisse makes him truly reflect and think about if he is happy and Montag realizes he’s not but at the point, he doesn’t know what to do.
Montag and Clarisse continue throughout Part 1 to have many conversations. But in one of the last conversations they have these words are exchanged, “‘People don't talk about anything.’ ‘Oh, they must!’” (Bradbury 28). This highlights how much Montag doesn’t know about his own society and the people around him. Montag believed people had conversations with each other and were all happy and friendly. But this perception is wrong as the society he believed they are living in is not the society he was actually living in. Demonstrating how
Clarisse is this motivating force in Montag’s life making him look to see if this society he lived in was truly the society he believed it was. On a rainy morning when Montag was leaving his house to go to work, he finds Clarisse outside in the rain. While Montag and Clarisse have a conversation, Clarisse rubs a dandelion on Montag’s chin claiming if the yellow rubs off he is in love however no yellow rubs onto his chin. However, Montag says, “‘I am, very much in love!’ He tried to conjure up a face to match the words, but there was no face.” (Bradbury 20). Despite claiming he is in love Montag begins to doubt if the relationship his wife, Mildred, and he has is actually love. Overridden with curiosity Montag asks Mildred if she remembers when they first met when Mildred responds no this truly worried Montag, This whole instance highlights just how motivated Montag is by Clarisse to investigate his own life and the society he lives in to figure out if it is truly real. As his whole world was falling apart something as minor as a little dandelion game makes Montag worried that he doesn’t love anyone and no one loves him.
Even though Clarisse was in the book for a very short amount of time she had a major impact on Montag. She destroys Montag’s facade of happiness that he wore pushing him into this vast unknown void where he starts to wonder if anything in his life is real. This forces him to go through his life and figure out if he truly is happy. When Montag admits he is not truly happy is where the impact Clarisse had on Montag is really shown. Since Montag has been living his life believing he was truly happy but Clarisse motivated him to dive deeper and Montag found he was living in a fake world.