Clarisse McClellan, what a very unique and interesting character. Clarisse seems to have occupied so little of Montag’s time and yet she seemed to be with Montag every step of the way.
Clarisse seems to be the only person who Montag was happy to be around with during the first half of the novel. She engaged Montag in conversations and appears like a family member to Montag. One can see clearly on page 27 that it was Clarisse who first came to Montag’s mind to be followed by his wife, during Montag’s incoherent thoughts.
Towards the end of the book, Clarisse appeared once again to Montag when he was walking along the railroad track. This is interesting, because Montag did not waste any time to think about his past after he ran away, but amazingly Clarisse never seemed to have left Montag’s mind.
Something happened between Clarisse and Montag, if I was a chemist I would have probably said that Clarisse balanced Montag’s equation. Montag was not quite sure who he was, but Clarisse seemed to be the person who showed Montag the big picture, she opened Montag’s eyes and mind so that he was no longer ignorant of what was happening around him and his actions. It was after all Clarisse who asked Montag the faithful question “Are you happy?” to which Montag was trying to convince himself that he was, but he came across as being in denial. This question also leads Montag to start reading books, and in its own unique way, this question forms the plot of the novel.