Discussion of differences between Clarisse and Mildred in Farhenheit 451.

Essay by MahlumUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, April 2005

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While both Clarisse and Mildred are not main characters, they are extremely important supporting characters in the novel. Their influence on Guy Montag is one that cannot be ignored as they both portray opposite extremes of his feelings. Only through these opposing characters does Montag open up and show his true, inner feelings.

In the first section of the novel, it never gives Clarisse a true age. She only makes this simple statement: "I'm seventeen and I'm crazy" [Bradbury 7], implying she is in her late teens and putting explanation to her odd behavior. Guy Montag finds Clarisse on his way home from the fire station one late evening and offers to walk her home since she is so young and it is already dark outside. Clarisse delightfully accepts the invitation and begins the barrage of questioning. This questioning becomes a key part of the character of Clarisse, whatever she looks at, hears about, thinks about, she questions it.

Question after question, until she can understand it or at least be satisfied for the time being. While, Montag does not always understand her logic or line of thought, he begins to enjoy her companionship and her random questions and thoughts.

Guy Montag is also married and has a wife of ten years named Mildred. Mildred is portrayed at the exact opposite of Clarisse. Instead of being an outsider who is always questioning and wanting to understand more and more and enjoy the simple things in life. Mildred is the stereotypical stay at home wife of the time. She stays home all day long, cleans house and watches her plot less, pointless soap operas. She is the perfect example of a conformed individual of the futuristic society. But from this conformity, she is flawed. She is left with an...