In "Fahrenheit 451", what kind of people do Clarisse and Montag represent, respectively?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clarisse represents innocence.  In a society based upon blind acceptance of government policy and an all-inclusive, constant search for raw, immediate gratification, she likes "to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch(ing) the sunrise".  Clarisse does not accept the values set forth for her by society, and rarely takes part in activities, such as jet car racing, which appeal to the need for constant unthinking stimulation and are most preferred by the majority.  Clarisse is an individual who is in touch with her own soul, and she is able to see the world around her and honestly evaluate its worth (Part 1). 

Montag represents the seeker, the type of person who, after living a life of conformity, begins to question his own values and that of his society.  He is an individual on a quest, and his searching enables him to grow and develop as a character and in humanity.  Satisfied at first in his job burning books as a fireman, Montag, after coming in contact with Clarisse, begins to think about his life and the ramifications of what he is doing.  His questioning and resulting behavior leads to his exposure as a subversive and his murdering of Captain Beatty, developments which effect the complete loss of his old life and a chance for renewal as a fugitive more fully human.