Before you meet Clarisse, (8)
You always wink at yourself in the mirror, feeling good, (8)
and you live your life in oblivion…(13)
But when you talk to Clarisse… (14)
You realize that you burn books and don’t even know why you do it… (53)
…and that’s when you realize what she’s saying. (54-55)
Have you ever discovered something huge? Something so mind blowing, mind bending, that it could change your life forever? Well, in the exposition of the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the main character Montag discovers a detail of this level of importance. Montag lives in a future America where no one can take even a second to think, nor own any books. Montag burns these books for a living, but after meeting a mysterious girl dressed in white named Clarisse, he begins to question his job, and this is where the conflict is revealed. One of the major conflicts has to do with his encounter with Clarisse, and is a person vs. society conflict. To explain how the conflict is revealed throughout the book, my partner Evan and I created a series of GIFs to show that we could also identify the conflict.
- For the first GIF, we used the part of page 8 where Bradbury writes, “He hung up his black beetle colored helmet and shined it; he hung his flame proof jacket neatly; and then, whistling, hands in pockets, walked across the across the upper floor of the fire station…” (Bradbury 8). This shows that Montag is a man confident and proud with his lifestyle and more specifically, his job… Before he meets the girl in white.
- For the second GIF, we picked out the quote, “He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-cooked in the mirror.” (Bradbury 8). Again, we used this quote just to get the point across that Montag lives a happy, peaceful life in oblivion before he speaks to Clarisse. Could this be related to a possible theme? Hm…
- The third GIF we used had to do with the quote, “‘You think to many things,’ said Montag, uneasily.” (Bradbury 13), because it further demonstrates Montag’s state of mind before/right when he started his talking with Clarisse. Clarisse was talking about green and brown blurs that people in that world called trees and grass. But Montag just gave her an uneasy look and said that she thought to many things. This leads to internal conflict.
- For the fourth GIF, we used, “What a strange meeting on a strange night. He remembered nothing like it save one afternoon a year ago when he had met an old man in the park and they had talked…” (Bradbury 14). This quote gives a heads-up that the conflict is to be revealed soon, and also gives the heads-up that the plot progresses very rapidly in this book!
- For the fifth GIF, we used the quote, “…We burnt an old woman with her books.” (Bradbury 52), and the quote, “We burnt a thousand books. We burnt a woman.” (Bradbury 52). This says something about Montag’s change of heart on his job. For a woman to rather die than to loose her books; how important are they? The conflict has arisen not only because Montag stole a book at this point in the story, but also because he’s starting to question not only his job, but also the entire world he lives in.
- And lastly for the sixth GIF, we picked out the quote, “‘You weren’t there, you didn’t see,’ he said. ‘There must be something in these books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.'” (Bradbury 54-55). This is a very powerful quote because it doesn’t only exposes one of the major conflicts of the book, but because it shows the change of Montag, and the questioning of his job.
[We made this GIF story here.]
[I got my featured image from here]