January Final Narrative Essay (2,277 words)
(Reference: completely takes place in between the paragraph break on page 31 in Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451) Clarisse was patiently waiting for Montag, adjacent the curb that framed his side of the street, making standing look even more tranquil than lying down on the grass for a morning nap. Today, Montag noted, Clarisse looked even more determined to talk than she normally did, even though she nearly talked too much on most of their morning walks. “Hello, Mr. Montag!”
“Good morning Clarisse.”
Clarisse stopped a moment then in deep significance exclaimed, “That’s the first time you have called me by my name sense the first night we met. Did you notice? People don’t often greet one another by their first names anymore.” Montag thought about it, and realized she was right.
“I guess that is true; strangers don’t normally address each other. It’s not necessary to remind someone of their own name.” “If that was true, how would you ever meet anyone at all?” She inquired. “Well,” Montag thought, “I don’t know.”
They walked in silence, Montag thinking about all the different people’s names he knew, but could not remember ever addressing properly, contrary to first encounters and on letters. There were quite a few; nearly all of his fellow Firemen. He often heard the relatives address Mildred by her name, but he barely ever did unless he needed to gain her attention. He could not remember the first time he addressed Mildred by her name. “Mr. Montag?” Clarisse asked shyly, an unfamiliar tone for her. “Yes?”
“Would you like to come over for dinner tomorrow night? Your wife can come, too.” She added, “It’ll just be my father, mother, uncle and if you will, us,” she hesitated. “We don’t get many guests, but I’ve told my family quite a bit about you, and now they’re intrigued. They will appreciate it if you decide to come.” “Mildred can’t come. . . She has a show.” Montag wasn’t sure if this was true, but assumed it must be. Anyway, Montag preferred her not to join them for dinner. He didn’t understand why, but it seemed to him that introducing Mildred and Clarisse would resemble mixing kerosene with fire. He wasn’t sure who would be the kerosene, the one to fuel the fire, contribute to the destruction, and who would be the one eating up every last ounce of character and turning it to ashes. “I don’t understand,” Clarisse asked. “Why would she rather stay home alone?” “She won’t be alone. She’ll be with her relatives.”
Clarisse looked at him, disappointed, but not disappointed in anything in particular. “You’ll still come, won’t you?” Clarisse pursued.
Montag shyly looked around only to realize they were no longer walking, but standing in front of the subway, consumed in conversation, and his bus was approaching. He looked back at Clarisse, finding that she hadn’t taken her eyes off him for an instant. “I will.”
That night in bed, Montag thrashed in his sleep, sweating as if he was in one the suits he was permitted to wear at fires. “Don’t! Stop, please!” Montag whispered eagerly.
In his nightmare, Montag was standing in front of a house, and Mildred was in the yard, whimpering. He stood there and watched her, perplexed and frozen in his spot. Why was she crying? Then he saw the house behind his wife, erupting into flames, like a lit match stuck straight up into the ground. “They’re in there! All of them!” Mildred whimpered, drowning eyes escaping down her powdery cheeks. “Who? Who’s in there?” Montag asked.
“My family! My relatives. And, oh no! My pills!” Oh. They were in front of his house. Montag heard a bang from behind him and whipped around. The house across from his was also on fire. Captain Beaty was proudly standing in front of the masterpiece, ear to ear with an enthusiastic smirk. “Look, Guy! I got’em! Gott’em all. How about some cards, Guy? What do you say?” Montag was about to reply when he heard a shriek from the...
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