In Fahrenheit 451, how is Clarisse's family different from the others in the neighborhood?

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Clarisse's family are one of the vanishing breed of individuals in the future society; her parents and relatives still remember the pre-book-ban world, and are generally dissatisfied with the new society. Clarisse learns most of her individualism from them, and is thus able to see past government indoctrination and the superficial satisfaction of TV.

When they reached her house all its lights were blazing.

"What's going on?" Montag had rarely seen that many house lights.

"Oh, just my mother and father and uncle sitting around, talking. It's like being a pedestrian, only rarer."
(Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Google Books)

Montag's surprise comes from his own typical life; he does not yet understand how unhealthy it is to sit and watch TV all the time, or why the TV shows are so empty of content. Instead, he equates TV, and shared TV watching, with normal societal interaction. The concept of "sitting around talking" is almost alien to him; he only converses on the job or while walking with someone. The strangeness of Clarisse's family, and his sudden desire to experience them, is one of the things that sets Montag on his path to individualism.


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