According to Beatty, why is Clarisse "better off dead"?

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In part one, Montag calls off work, and Captain Beatty visits his home to lecture him on the importance of the institution of the firemen. Montag then questions Captain Beatty about his intuitive, unique teenage neighbor, Clarisse McClellan. Beatty then proceeds to elaborate on her odd, "dangerous" family. The McClellans are a family of non-conformists who enjoy nature, engage in meaningful conversations, and participate in leisure activities. Clarisse is a product of her environment who does not fit in with her peers, is labeled anti-social at school, and is an independent thinker.

In Bradbury's dystopian nation, conformity is championed and independence is considered a threat to the government and society. Clarisse and her family have been on a government watchlist because they are non-conformists, and Beatty firmly believes that Clarisse was destined to be "very unhappy." In Beatty's mind, conformity is peace and happiness, which is why Clarisse is "better off dead."

Essentially, Captain Beatty believes that Clarisse will not flourish in society, have any friends, or be a content consumer because of her odd, independent personality, which would eventually result in her arrest or death.

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In Part One of Fahrenheit 451, Beatty refers to Clarisse as a "poor girl" who is "better off dead." To put this into context, Beatty makes this comment during a conversation with Montag in which he traces the history of the fireman system and outlines the reasons for its introduction.

When Montag asks about the sudden disappearance of his neighbour, Clarisse, Beatty blames her unusual family:

"Heredity and environment are funny things. You can't rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years."

For Beatty, Clarisse thinks and behaves very differently to others in their society because her family had been "feeding her subconscious," presumably by encouraging her to question the status quo. As a result, she could never be truly happy:

"You ask why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed."

For Beatty, then, Clarisse is "better off dead" because her family has corrupted her mind and turned her into a non-conformist. As such, she is unable to accept the censorship in their society and this has turned her into a social liability and embarrassment, incapable of ever blending in.

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