In Fahrenheit 451, does Clarisse die? What happened to her?  

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part One, Montag develops a significant friendship with his teenage neighbor, Clarisse McClellan. She is an enthusiastic, genuine person, who is the catalyst that makes Montag question his personal happiness. Montag begins to cherish his brief moments and conversations with Clarisse McClellan, until one day she disappears. After not seeing Clarisse for seven consecutive days, Montag begins to worry about her well-being. When Montag asks his wife if she has seen Clarisse throughout the neighborhood, Mildred casually mentions that she forgot to tell him that Clarisse got ran over by a car and died. Montag is both shocked and horrified after finding out his close friend passed away and wonders why Mildred didn't tell him sooner. Mildred simply responds by telling Montag that she forgot. Mildred is too preoccupied with her Seashell radios and parlour walls to remember something as significant as Clarisse's death. Mildred is also a shallow, callous individual and does not fully understand the nature of Montag's friendship with Clarisse. 

schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first time we hear of what happened to Clarisse is when Mildred tells Montag "Whole family moved out somewhere. But she's gone for good.  I think she's dead." (pg 47) She goes on to tell him that Clarisse was run over by a car four days ago.  She wasn't sure,but she was pretty sure. 

Later, when Beatty is talking to Montag he says that Clarisse was a time bomb.  Her family had been feeding her subconscious and she kept asking questions.  That could lead to unhappiness.  So, "she is better off dead".(pg 60)  He says that luckily people like Clarisse do not appear often but that the government now knows how to "nip most of them in the bud.." (pg 60)

Clarisse has been "nipped in the bud" as they say and is dead.

The pages I have sited are in my edition of the book, but they should be somewhere close to that page.

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Fahrenheit 451, Clarisse dies, but Bradbury does not describe this event in the text. Mildred informs the reader of Clarisse's death. In Part Two, when Montag notes that he has not seen Clarisse for four days, Mildred declares that she is "gone" and that she was "run over by a car." Clarisse's family has also moved out and left the area. When Montag asks why she did not tell him sooner, Mildred says she "forgot."

Clarisse's cause of death is confirmed in Part Three. When Montag is running away from the Hound, he is almost knocked down by some joyriding teenagers. This prompts him to wonder if they were responsible for killing Clarisse, but this notion is neither confirmed nor denied by Bradbury.