A Burning Desire

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“How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who refracted your own light to you?”(11). She was different, and difference was a hard thing to come by. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Montag lives in a world where everyone is just as lonely and brainwashed as he is, until he met her. Through the character of Clarisse, Montag finds true love and curiosity. He questions conformity and seeks freedom. Her character gives him the bravery to fight ignorance and find justice.

Her differences attract Montag. Clarisse behaves as an individual and refuses to conform to the ways of society. Montag’s society centers its main focus on technology, causing all of its followers to waste away in their caves they call home. It seems that whenever Montag converses with Clarisse, they are outside. In our society nature usually represents peace or relaxation, but it can also be harsh and unforgiving which is how Clarisse’s spirit is: free and brutally honest. It is not often that one sees someone so mature, yet so young, in Montag’s society. Her teachers disapprove of her: “I’m antisocial they say. I don’t mix.”(29). She would rather befriend a stranger than waste time talking about the useless “fluff” that the country seems to obsess over. Clarisse likes watching people to figure them out; the society likes watching people die and takes pleasure in hurting other people. Therefore, she and her peers do not mix too well: “I’m afraid of them and they don’t like me because I’m afraid”(30). Despite her hardships, her willingness to continue and her cheerful charm is what intrigues Montag the most. With a complex character like Clarisse entering in his life, her ways make Montag question his beliefs and his trust in the ways of his society. As his relationship with Mildred seems to wisp away into nothingness, Montag ponders over if he really loves her. It really shows when Clarisse plays a silly child’s game with Montag to see if he is in love or...
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