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Clarisse's main role in the novel is to function as a catalyst for Montag's reassessment of pretty much everything. Clarisse is a breath of life in a world gone stale. She is an anomaly that helps break him out of his trance-like state induced by methodical state-run brainwashing. She asks Montag to begin asking questions beginning with the simple yet profound, "Are you happy? Montag is initially thrown off the question, "Am I what?" Montag is unhappy because he lacks a human connection. He and his wife have nothing in common; her attempt at suicide simply reinforces how unemotional many in the society have become as she is treated. He also meets Clarisse and realizes that people live in different ways. Finally, once he watches the old woman burn with her books, he begins to wonder about books and what value they might have. Although he listens to Beatty's explanation about why they are not needed, he does not accept it and thus, is no longer content with the world in which he lives.