Why are the McClellans seen as peculiar in Fahrenheit 451?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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The McClellans are looked down upon in the society because they do not conform to the idea of good citizens. They like to sit around together, as a family, and talk. Clarisse also likes to go for walks on her own, rather than driving cars at killer speeds (popular among teenagers in the book). In the novel, nearly everyone spends their free time either driving with the intent of killing animals- or possibly people- or watching the TV walls installed in every house. Montag's wife is upset, because they can only afford 3 walls of screens, instead of 4 like her friends. But the McClellans don't do any of that. They enjoy discussing simple things, like how their days were, or debating complex issues like politics and ethics. Clarisse's uncle is particularly peculiar in the eyes of others, and he has the biggest influence on her development. Thus, when Montag meets her, she is the most unique person he has ever encountered. Unfortunately, this individuality almost certainly results in her death, as she is rumored to be struck by a car while out for a walk. Consequently, her family disappears. There is no room for dissent in this dystopian world.

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