Essay on Me and my dog

Submitted By surbur
Words: 1022
Pages: 5

Question: What is Clarisse’s effect on Montag and her function in the novel? How does she change him? Why does she vanish from the novel so early?

In Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451, the character Clarisse plays an important role in helping Montag become aware of how corrupt society has become. Her one question “are you happy” (7) seems like it has an obvious answer but to Montag it makes him wonder if he really is happy and if what he is doing as a fireman is right. Although Clarisse is not the main character she has a strong effect on Montag and changes him for the better. In the beginning of the book Montag meets Clarisse and she seems quite peculiar to him. For many nights they walk and talk and Clarisse talks about things that Montag had never thought about before. One day Clarisse and Montag are talking and she says “Have you ever smelled old leaves? Don’t they smell like cinnamon? Here. Smell.” Montag says “Why, yes, it is like cinnamon in a way.” Then Clarisse says “You always seem shocked.” This shows that Montag is not aware of a lot of things because he doesn’t take the time to actually look. Clarisse also tells Montag that she is afraid of people her age because they murder each other and bully people. (27) After Clarisse tells him all these things he starts taking it into consideration and paying more attention to society. He asks Mildred if she remembers when they met and where and she doesn’t remember. (40) One night Montag is walking home and Clarisse isn’t there to talk to him. The next night he walks home and she still doesn’t come out and he doesn’t see her again. (29) After she’s gone the more he pays attention to things he never did before and thinks about being a fireman. The turning point was one night when they got a call at the firehouse and when they got to the house with the books the woman who lived there wouldn’t leave. She ended up burning her house and herself because she refused to leave her books. (37) This would have been normal to Montag before but after meeting Clarisse this made him feel so sick with what was happening to the point that he wanted to quit his job. (48) This clearly shows that Clarisse had a strong effect on Montag because she makes him wonder about books and firemen. Clarisse’s function in the novel is very important. Although she vanishes early in the book it’s the impact that she had on Montag that helps him make his decisions throughout the book. In the beginning of the story it is one simple question that Clarisse asks that changes Montag and that question is “Are you happy?” (7) At first Montag finds this question astonishing and right away he says to himself that he is happy. Then he gives it more thought and he admits to himself that he is actually not happy. He thinks to himself that he wore 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. (9) Clarisse is the one that makes Montag think that burning books is wrong and he is not happy going through his everyday routine of burning not only books but the houses as well and sometimes even the people inside those houses. Clarisse is the reason why Montag quits his job and talks to Faber to ask him for help. Most importantly Clarisse is the reason that Montag not only stops burning books but tries to “save knowledge.” (196) Clarisse’s function was to help Montag form his own opinions and to pay attention to the details of each situation and to what he does. Despite the fact that Clarisse was not there…