Cheyennes English Paper 451

Submitted By cthurfield
Words: 944
Pages: 4

Cheyenne Thurfield
Professor Berger
English 121 Section 401
October 7th, 2014 Literary explication/argument “It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.” In Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, Clarisse McClellan is used as a catalyst of reassessment for everything Guy Montag has been accustomed to. Clarisse is a young girl Montag encounters who strikes up the fire in his mind that steers him off course of his blind life and leaves him questioning what he does. She pushes him to do so by her dialogue with him, her contrasting traits with his wife Mildred, and her innocence in the society. In “Fahrenheit 451”, Bradbury presents a dystopia where the future generations are hypnotized by technology and lose the ability to think. Fireman Guy Montag is a normal individual in this society, married and “happy”, until he meets a young girl named Clarisse. Clarisse opens the door which reveals to him how corrupt the society is in which he resides in. Montag observes the emptiness in his wife, the level of importance of books to some people, and how unhappy he is with life. All of these components contribute towards Montag’s search to discover why he is dissatisfied. On a walk home from work, Montag meets his new neighbor Clarisse. After they initially meet, they decide to walk home together. On this walk, they engage in a conversation where Clarisse bombards Montag with questions and ideas that Montag has never thought of. “Do you ever read any of the books you burn?” (7) “You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you.” (8) “Did you know billboards were once twenty feet long?” (9) “There’s dew on the grass in the morning.” (9) This series of questions and ideas made him very irritable. Montag was having a hard time realizing whether or not he knew some of the things and ideas of which Clarisse asked him. The question that really seems to break Montag is when Clarisse asks “…are you happy”? (10) This question initially appeared to be outlandish to Montag, but as he thinks about their conversation and how “different” she was, he is forced to take off his mask and admit that “he was not happy”(12). Montag’s realization of his unhappiness serves as the commence of his awakening. Clarisse asked each of these intriguing questions to make Montag think, something that he does not typically do, and slowly lead him into his journey of exploration. Along Montag’s journey, his wife Mildred plays a major role in his transformation. Just like Montag, Mildred possesses many different traits with Clarisse. For Montag, Clarisse is everything that Millie is not. She is a free minded spirit, she feels, she asks “why” and not “how”. On the contrary, Millie is a dependent, closed minded individual, who is completely ignorant to anything other than technology. “One of them slid down into your stomach like a black cobra down an echoing well looking for all the old water and the old time gathered there”(14), this echoing well represents Mildred’s emptiness and shows that she is nothing. Not only is Mildred essentially nonexistent, she is also very distant from Montag, despite their relationship as a couple. The wall between them is constantly growing, “It’ll be even more fun when we can afford to have the fourth wall installed. How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a…