What is a comparison/contrast between Mildred and Clarisse in Fahrenheit 451?  

In Fahrenheit 451, Clarisse McClellan and Mildred Montag are both members of an oppressive society. Clarisse, however, refuses to conform. She thinks and questions and inspires others to curiosity and wonder. Clarisse strives to be fully alive. Mildred, on the other hand, is mostly numb and unthinking. She is also horribly unhappy, yet she betrays her own husband for the sake of conformity.

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Both Clarisse McClellan and Mildred Montag are caught up in a society beyond their control, a society that oppresses them and tries to regulate everything they do and say and think. Yet these two characters respond very differently to that coercion.

Seventeen-year-old Clarisse is a free spirit. She is curious, open, intellectual, and appealing. She asks question after question as she tries to understand her world. She is not afraid to think and explore and wonder. Even in a world that wants people half-dead and unthinking, Clarisse is alive and engaged and enthusiastic. Further, she encourages the people around her to think and to question. Her brilliance inspires Montag to awaken in his mind. Her questions make him question. Her happiness makes him realize that he is not happy. When Clarisse is killed, Montag finally decides the time has come for him to act. He must become the free spirit that Clarisse was.

Mildred Montag, on the other hand, is half-dead. She follows society's demands...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1042 words.)

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