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.

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

  1. Julia B. says:

    I think Clarisse is alive because her family’s moving and her dying seem more than a coincidence. In the book, it reveals, “Whole family moved out somewhere. But she’s gone for good. I think she’s dead.” (Bradbury pg.44). This implies that the family moved out and Clarisse died around the same time. This seems like more than a coincidence. In the book, Clarisse tells Montag, “My uncle was arrested another time-did I tell you?-for being a pedestrian.” (pg.7). She is aware that you can be arrested for walking on the street. Beatty did keep a track record of her and her family of false alarms, and her uncle being arrested. Beatty even states, “We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early.” (pg.58). Perhaps the family knew that, and moved to prevent them all from being arrested. Clarisse could’ve just faked her death by ducking and hiding in the center of the car, like Montag does on page 122, so the police would think she’s dead. This would let her and her family live in peace without the fear of the police or firemen killing them for their ideas. Even if she is really dead, her legacy is not for she inspired Montag to re-evaluate his life and try to change society for the better.

    • Fiona Killeen says:

      I like how you talked about how Clarisse’s legacy is still alive and present. Even after she left she continued to guide and teach Montag. She played a pivotal rule in his life, even when she wasn’t there.

    • Zachary S. says:

      You made some great points but I am going to have to disagree with your ideas. You are right when it comes to her family having a confusing background but I do not personally think that caused her downfall. In the turbulent society of Fahrenheit 451, there are so many ways to be persecuted and also be killed. If her family had been keeping books (we can’t be 100% sure) there is a great chance she could’ve been caught and killed, and if she was looming around the city the time the bombs came, she would have stood no chance of survival. Personally, I think she died when the bombs leveled the city.

  2. Ronan M says:

    I believe that Clarisse did die because of what Beatty and Millie said about her death. Millie says “…she’s gone for good. I think she’s dead”. I think this shows that it is true because Millie doesn’t pay attention to much outside of the television and the Shell, so for her to say that shows that it probably actually happened. Another instance of it is when Beatty says “she is better off dead”. I think this hinted that Beatty was either involved in the death, or was merely aware of how it happened, as the government didn’t like people like her; curious and questioning individuals were seen as a threat, so it doesn’t seem unlikely that the government would stage an accident to get rid of said threat.

    • Fiona Killeen says:

      I agree with your explanation. Especially about how Millie is always preoccupied with technology. I also think that Beatty had something to do with her death ; he was certainly suspicious. Clarisse was definitely seen as trouble to the government, therefore making her a threat. The government didn’t like people who could potentially take away their power.

  3. Fiona Killeen says:

    I think that Clarisse died because of the suspicious comments that Beatty made to Montag the day that he didn’t show up to work. Beatty explained, “The girl? She was a time bomb” (page 57). Beatty and the firemen had been investigating Clarisse and her family for years. They were waiting for an opportunity to prove that Clarisse and her family were guilty of harboring books. Furthermore, Beatty described, ” We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early ” (page 58). People like Clarisse who refused to conform to society are seen as a danger and menace to the government. The government wants to stay in complete power so they get rid of any competition or threats. It appears that in the government’s eyes Clarisse possessed too much intelligence and curiosity so they eliminated her and her power.

  4. Zachary S. says:

    I believe that Clarisse is dead. I think this because life in the dystopian society was cruel, forgetting, and violent. It is well known that people die on a daily basis, even though these deaths are very preventable. One way violence thrived was through war in this society, an I believe Clarisse died because if it. This quote says
    “And in that instant saw the
    city, instead of the bombs, in the air. They had displaced each other. For
    another of those impossible instants the city stood, rebuilt and
    unrecognizable, taller than it had ever hoped or strived to be, taller
    than man had built it, erected at last in gouts of shattered concrete and
    sparkles of torn metal into a mural hung like a reversed avalanche, a
    million colours, a million oddities, a door where a window should be, a
    top for a bottom, a side for a back, and then the city rolled over and fell
    down dead.
    The sound of its death came after” (pg.153).
    I think these bombs dropped on the city (leaving it utterly destroyed) is what killed her. It killed everyone in sight and left the city in peril.

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