In Fahrenheit 451, what is the significance of Clarisse's speech on "Blurs"?
"I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly. If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles per hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn’t that funny, and sad, too?"
This is the "speech" Clarisse gave from when Montag first met her. What is the significance in this?
The significance of this speech is that it sets out for us what is wrong with this society. No one sees anything clearly. They are all encouraged to live their lives at such a fast and unthinking pace that they do not actually know what life is really like.
In this society, the people think that they are happy. They think that their lives are fun and in some way fulfilling. Millie Montag, for example, does not think that there is anything wrong with her life. But her perception is truly blurred. She does not realize that her life is actually empty and that she is truly so depressed that she will subconsciously try to kill herself. There are many others in her predicament.
So, this speech of Clarisse's is a metaphor for what is wrong with this society as a whole. People are going too fast and paying too little attention to the truth about their lives.
Clarisse's speech in Part One about "blurs" is significant because it demonstrates the problems of censorship. Specifically, it shows that people do not have the time or the opportunity to stop and think about things. Instead, they pursue mindless forms of entertainment, like driving fast, which provides instant gratification but does not encourage critical thinking, or a deeper appreciation of the world around them.
In addition, this speech is also significant because it establishes Clarisse and her family as social outsiders. Note, for example, how her father was jailed for driving too slowly. Instead of speeding, like everyone else, he took his time on the road and blatantly flouted the rules. He was punished by losing his liberty, but this has not deterred Clarisse from living her life in the way she chooses. She prefers to think about things instead of becoming a slave to entertainment, like everybody else.
Clarisse and her family, therefore, contrast sharply with characters like Mildred, and as a result, are constantly watched and monitored by the authorities.
The significance to this speech is that it shows how the society moves so fast that they don't realize the simple things in life like, grass, cows, or even flowers. Yes, everyone knows that they are there, but they don't take any time to notice them or appreciate them. They miss out on the simple pleasures of life because they are convinced that they are already happy with their technology, walls, fun parks, etc.