In Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the question Clarisse asks Montag that seems so pivotal to his life is, "Are you happy?"
Montag is a fireman by trade. The job of firemen in this futuristic society is not to put out house fires, but to start them. Their overall purpose is to destroy homes that contain books, something is not allowed in this society. Other things have taken the place of books—things that anesthetize people toward anything of importance in the world. They do not ask questions or share opinions about anything, but happily ingest the propaganda pumped into their homes through their wall televisions and the seashells ear buds they listen to as they rest at night.
Clarisse and Montag meet on the street one day and begin to have conversations. She asks him about things he has never considered. She shares images of the world as it used to be. For instance, she speaks about dew on the grass in the morning. She holds a yellow flower under Montag's chin (a practice of young children)...
(The entire section contains 543 words.)