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In the first chapter, "The Hearth and the Salamander", Guy and Clarisse, having just met, are talking. Clarisse says, "I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly." She's referring to how fast the cars go and recalls how her uncle once was arrested and jailed for two days for the crime of driving at too low a speed, 40 mph. A littler further into the conversation, Clarisse asks Guy if he's noticed that billboards are now 200 ft. long. The reason, she says is, "...But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last." There are other references to the fast pace of the civilization, including the high-speed train which Guy takes to and from the fire station and more of Clarisse's comments about high school age students who drive fast and have little concern for the value of life.
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