In the book Fahrenheit 451, what actions does Clarisse's uncle say society has stopped doing?

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price7781 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Clarisse’s uncle has been arrested twice for the “horrible” crime of being a pedestrian.  He is a “rebel” according to the government because he is a free thinker. He has also educated his niece, Clarisse, well in the ways society use to be.  He says that no one has front porches anymore, a place for neighbors to meet and for families to talk.  The uncle encourages people to talk and share ideas, something other people don’t do in this ramped up world of ignorance because of the burning of books and knowledge.  He also talks about how people don’t take responsibility for their actions especially the young people who don’t have any direction. He has taught Clarisse to be independent, go for walks, and find beauty in the sunset. After Montag’s walk with Clarisse, he goes to the window and hears Clarisse’s family laughing and discussing things.  The uncle says that they live in a disposable society where life doesn’t mean anything to anyone. It is ironic that Montag hears this conversation because he earlier discovers his wife, Mildred, overdosed on drugs.  

Clarisse’s uncle is a symbol of the past when people were individuals and educated themselves beyond the wall size televisions that decorate the homes in this current society.  The uncle, much like Granger, Faber, and later Montag, symbolically represents a simpler world free of the oppressions of a government who denies civil rights and liberties.

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