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In "Fahrenheit 451", what happens to Clarisse McClellan in section 2?

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mitchell2 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 18, 2008 at 10:22 AM via web

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In "Fahrenheit 451", what happens to Clarisse McClellan in section 2?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 18, 2008 at 10:28 AM (Answer #1)

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The simple answer is that she disappears.  What happens to  her exactly is more complicated.  The book never fully explains it.  Mildred says that she heard that the "whole family moved out somewhere", and that Clarisse was "run over by a car".  Beatty hints that girls like her are "better off dead."  So, she could have been taken away by the government because she was trouble, she could have ran away, or she could have been killed.  The vague rumors that float around about her do help to keep it something that can't be pinned down and blamed though, which is handy if the government did take or kill her.

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 18, 2008 at 10:57 AM (Answer #2)

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In the firt part of "Fahrenheit 451," Mildred tells Montag that Clarisse is dead.  He wants to know if she is sure.  She tells him she is not sure, but she thinks the girl got run over by a car.  She tells Montag that the family moved out about 4 days ago; that Clarisse was killed four days ago.  The second part of the novel opens with Montag reading to Mildred.  He is reading from a book and he mentions Clarisse saying, "We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed."  Mildred again tells him that she is dead.

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