What does Clarisse fear in the novel? 

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Clarisse is a very observant young lady, and she has a very supportive family who encourages her free thinking behavior.  She really doesn't go to school because the government thinks she is abnormal, and she can't see the point of getting

"....a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?  ....we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you." (pg 29)

She says she has no friends, but when Montag tells her that she sounds very old, she tells him.

"Sometimes I'm ancient.  I'm afraid of children my own age.  They kill each other.....Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone.  Ten of them died in car wrecks.  I'm afraid for them and they don't like me because I'm afraid." (pg 30)

It is the only thing she says she fears.  The government thinks she is abnormal and is sending her to a psychiatrist.  She isn't even afraid of him. It appears she should have been afraid of the government.  When Montag asks Beatty about Clarisse, Beatty replies,

"The girl? She was a time bomb.  The family had been feeding her subconscious.  I'm sure, from what I saw of her school record.  She didn't want to know how a thing was done, but why.  That can be embarrassing.  You ask why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it.  The poor girl's better off dead." (pg 60)

Sources:

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