What makes Clarisse so curious in the novel Fahrenheit 451? What quotes illustrate that?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clarisse's family is a group of down to earth intellectuals who enjoy conversations and quiet evenings instead of the typical entertainment provided by the loud, obnoxious parlor walls. When Montag and Clarisse meet, they walk home, and Montag notices that her house lights are on. He asks Clarisse what's going on, and she says,

"Oh, just my mother and father and uncle sitting around, talking. It's like being a pedestrian, only rarer. My uncle was arrested another time---did I tell you?---for being a pedestrian. Oh, we're most peculiar" (Bradbury 7).

That night, after Montag witnesses his wife overdose on sleeping pills, he pulls his drapes open and looks out of his window. At two in the morning, Montag watches Clarisse's home, and Bradbury writes,

"Laughter blew across the moon-colored lawn from the house of Clarisse and her father and mother and the uncle who smiled so quietly and so earnestly. Above all, their laughter was relaxed and hearty and not forced in any way, coming from the house that was so brightly lit this late at night while all the other houses were kept to themselves in darkness. Montag heard the voices talking, talking, talking, giving, talking, weaving, reweaving their hypnotic web" (14).

Clarisse's curiosity is influenced by her family, which challenges Clarisse to view her society from a different perspective. She shares her family's open-minded and unique approach to life, which serves as a catalyst for her exploratory nature.

Clarisse also does not fit into to society and is viewed as antisocial by her teachers. She enjoys a good conversation but is not able to experience in-depth discussions at school. She tells Montag,

"Being with people is nice. But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?" (Bradbury 27).

She goes on to tell Montag that she doesn't have any friends either. Clarisse says,

"...everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another" (Bradbury 27).

She fears people her age and prefers to watch others rather than interact with them. The fact that she doesn't run around and bully people like the other kids her age encourages her to experience nature and the little things in life. Clarisse's curiosity is insatiable, and she searches for new experiences to satisfy her peaceful, intellectual personality.

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Fahrenheit 451

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