Fahrenheit 451: The Meetings Between Montag and Clarisse


The novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is about a futuristic society
that has banned books. Firemen that start fires are used to burn the books when
they are found. One fireman, Guy Montag, remembers a time before book burning
and tries to right this horrible metropolis of zombies. An important part of
the novel Fahrenheit 451 is the meetings between Montag and Clarisse.
The meetings between Montag and Clarisse begins a series of events and
changes in Montag\'s way of thinking and lifestyle. Clarisse remarks " Are you
happy? " (10). Montag begins to realize that he is not happy after Clarisse
asks the question and arrives in his home. Montag observes " Darkness. He was
not happy. He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this
as the true state of affairs " (12). Montag\'s awareness is triggered at the
point in which Clarisse states " But you\'re just a man, after all " (7). This
statement by Clarisse makes Montag think of a time when he was a child during
power failure, and he wishes it not to end.
In Montag\'s second meeting with Clarisse, the two of them find a
dandelion and Clarisse tells Montag of rubbing it under his chin. Clarisse
explains " If it rubs off, it means I\'m in love "(22). Clarisse rubs the
dandelion under Montag\'s chin and Clarisse remarks "What a shame, you\'re not in
love with anyone " (22). Montag thinks that he is in love, but realizes that he
is not in love and not at all happy.
In the third meeting, Montag begins to feel that he has known Clarisse
forever. Montag states " You make me feel very old and very much like a father
" (28). Clarisse remarks " Now you explain why you haven\'t any daughters like
me, if you love children so much? " (28). Montag realizes that it is a long
time since anyone has cared enough to ask a good question rather than sit around
and worry about themselves. Montag answers " My wife, she . . . she just never
wanted any children at all " (28). Eventually Montag realizes that he must make
an effort to stop the chaos of his society by bringing books back to life and
destroying the current firemen.
The meetings between Montag and Clarisse trigger an awareness and change
in Montag\'s life. Montag realizes that his life and the lives of all the other
citizens are not as great as they are worked up to be and that he is not happy
at all. In the end Montag decides that he must change the way society is run
once and for all. All of this is a result of the meetings between Montag and
Clarisse.

Category: English