A true Inspiration
In the 1950 novel “Fahrenheit 451,” author Ray Bradbury presents the images of mind controlling world. He forces his readers to envision a world that is blinded from the truth of the present and the past. The novel is set in the, perhaps near, future where the censored fireman exists not to fight fires, instead to burn books. In Fahrenheit 451, the protagonist fireman Montage meets his neighbor, a young girl named Clarisse. She has been raised to live the way once it used to be, time when people had true freedom. Clarisse’s different view of life makes her outcast by her teachers and classmates. She helps Montage to start thinking differently and looking at the world with a new pair of eyes. She becomes his true inspiration, when Montag begins to question the meaning of life. Even though, Bradbury presents Clarisse only at the beginning of the novel, her inspirational influence makes Montag’s mind with insightful questions and answers to explore. Eventually, he transforms from a conformist to a revolutionary throughout the novel.
In the society of Fahrenheit 451, the lives of citizen are restricted. They live unconsciously under the control of government without realizing their surroundings. However, Clarisse is an exceptional to that. She is seventeen and naïve. Her way of thinking, action and attitude makes her different from rest of the “citizens”. She loves to smell the flowers instead of going to Fun Park “to bully people around” or “break windowpanes in the car wrecker.” She considers car racing as a constant unthinking stimulation, even it is preferred by most of the people. Clarisse is an individual who likes to observe people and she observes Montage. Her evaluation of Montag is that he is “not like others”, because when she talks, he looks at her. And when she says, “there’s a man in the moon,” he looks at the moon. People she is surrounded by cannot easily “put up with” her, but he can. Clarisse tells him that he is different from rest of the citizens, which makes Montag think like a naïve young person for the first time.
Instead of letting the society or the government takes over and makes the decision for Montag, Clarisse helps him to start to think for himself when she asks him, “Are you happy?” She runs off before he could answer her. However, this question really makes him analyze his life. He realizes that he isn’t happy but doesn’t know why. This “why” initiates him thinking like naïve Clarisse. Her curiosity and questioning is so unique that Montag is struck by her. He has never met someone who asks “why” instead of “how.” Despite his embarrassment, Montag starts to like her and looks forward to their next visit. Clarisse is open-eyed and observant. She asks questions. She probes and wonders, and thinks for herself. She is a breath of fresh air for Montag, but she is also dangerous to be associated with, since she is everything the government would not approve of. With gentle pricks to his self-awareness,...