Fahrenheit 451 Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 book cover
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How does Clarisse define happiness in Fahrenheit 451?

Although Clarisse McClellan does not specifically define happiness in Fahrenheit 451, one could argue that her definition of happiness includes the pleasurable experience of interacting with the natural environment or engaging in meaningful, authentic social interactions with others.

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Clarisse McClellan is Montag's intuitive, charismatic teenage neighbor who introduces herself to him towards the beginning of the story. Montag thinks how he has never met an individual quite like Clarisse as she elaborates on her affinity for nature the first time they meet. Clarisse mentions that she likes to "smell things and look at things" and watch the sunrise. She also tells Montag that she doesn't watch the parlour walls and enjoys looking at the pastures and flowers whenever she goes for a ride on the boulevard. In Bradbury's dystopian society, Clarisse is considered an outcast and is required to see a psychiatrist to remedy her "odd" behavior. Authority figures consider Clarisse an outcast because she enjoys hiking, collecting butterflies, and silently thinking to herself.

In another conversation with Montag, Clarisse tells him that she simply enjoys watching people and engaging in meaningful conversations with her insightful family members. While Clarisse does not...

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