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In Fahrenheit 451, what is the significance of Clarisse's speech on "Blurs"?"I...

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carriedawn | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:54 AM via web

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In Fahrenheit 451, what is the significance of Clarisse's speech on "Blurs"?

"I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly. If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles per hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn’t that funny, and sad, too?"

This is the "speech" Clarisse gave from when Montag first met her. What is the significance in this?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:07 PM (Answer #1)

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The significance of this speech is that it sets out for us what is wrong with this society.  No one sees anything clearly.  They are all encouraged to live their lives at such a fast and unthinking pace that they do not actually know what life is really like.

In this society, the people think that they are happy.  They think that their lives are fun and in some way fulfilling.  Millie Montag, for example, does not think that there is anything wrong with her life.  But her perception is truly blurred.  She does not realize that her life is actually empty and that she is truly so depressed that she will subconsciously try to kill herself.  There are many others in her predicament.

So, this speech of Clarisse's is a metaphor for what is wrong with this society as a whole.  People are going too fast and paying too little attention to the truth about their lives.

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funny88 | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 23, 2011 at 4:13 AM (Answer #2)

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The significance to this speech is that it shows how the society moves so fast that they don't realize the simple things in life like, grass, cows, or even flowers. Yes, everyone knows that they are there, but they don't take any time to notice them or appreciate them. They miss out on the simple pleasures of life because they are convinced that they are already happy with their technology, walls, fun parks, etc.

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