Fahrenheit 451: Clarisse — dead or alive?

As Montag walks along the path he is, “surprised to learn how certain he suddenly was of a single fact he could not prove. Once, long ago, Clarisse had walked here, where he was walking now” (Bradbury 145).

Do you think Clarisse is alive? Why or why not? Use quotes (with MLA citations) and examples from the text to support your answer.

After posting your response (using your first name and last initial), read your classmates’ opinions and post a substantive reply to a student with an opposing viewpoint. Ask questions, present counterarguments and compliment strong points made.


3 Responses to Fahrenheit 451: Clarisse — dead or alive?

  1. Kate L. says:

    I think Clarisse is alive. My theory is that the government threatened Clarisse to leave their society because they feared she may start a rebellion against their society. Clarisse had a different and deeper perspective on life, so she began to change the minds of others, such as the protagonist of the novel, Guy Montag. However, Captain Beatty was also aware of her impact on Guy Montag, thus, he or the government may have threatened Clarisse to stay away from the society to prevent spreading her way of thinking. They may have forced her to join the society that lived on the outskirts of town, where Granger was living, as that society is described to be broad. For example, “thousands (of people) on the roads, that abandoned rail tracks, tonight, bums on the outside, libraries inside.” (Fahrenheit 451, pg. 146) Captain Beatty also reveals his knowledge of Clarisse and her family in his discussion with Guy. This may indicate that Captain Beatty knows more about what happens in their society than Guy and the reader are led to believe. He tells Guy “Here or there, that’s bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We have a record on her family. We have watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school.” (Fahrenheit 451, pg. 57) Also strangely, Clarisse’s family also abruptly disappears. The novel states that they “moved out”, but what if they were threatened to leave as well? The government must have lied about her death in order to make Guy lose any hope of finding her and to make him forget what she taught him.

    MLA Citation
    Bradbury, Ray, and Neil Gaiman. Fahrenheit 451. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2018.

    • Hadiya Q. says:

      I think Katie presents an interesting idea that Beatty purposely removed Clarisse from the equation to have more control over Montag.

  2. Hadiya Q. says:

    I agree with Katie in that Clarisse is alive.
    I think after she awakened Montag from his believe-everything-society-tells-me slumber, her uncle, who mentored her and cultured her mind to see beyond what was provided, saw the signs that the family was in danger. After this, I think he decided to run. However, the family was not the only people who knew about them leaving. They also visited Faber and told him that they were leaving, and got directions that way. This explains why Faber is not as surprised as he should seem that another community member has decided to return to the books and why he is open with Montag. The secret book society were also not as surprised as I’d think they’d be; because once Clarisse reached there, she told them that she expected another believer. Some people than question why she didn’t meet Montag. This is because the community people must have already had the books that she and her family memorized, and therefore they went off to a different community. When Montag met George for the first, George asked him what he knew and he said. “I thought I had a part of the Book of Ecclesiastes..”, and George tells him that if anything happened to Harris in Youngstown, then he’s be the only source. This means that every community has there own book keepers. (End of part 3).

    MLA Citation
    Bradbury, Ray, and Neil Gaiman. Fahrenheit 451. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2018.

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