All Summer in a Day
The short story All Summer in a Day, by Ray Bradbury, is a fictional tale with a theme based upon friendship and childhood experiences. The reader delves in to this world and we’re faced quite early on with the harsh realities that not all childhood experiences are good ones, especially not for the main character in this story. In this instance, we follow the hardship of the lead character as she faces bullying from her fellow students and this of course leads the reader to feel sympathetic towards her. The writer, from the first few paragraphs, gives the impression of a lonely child and by including symbolism to reflect her location and her circumstances and irony to maximize this mirroring effect of place and emotion, he creates an instant feeling of sadness for her. Mr Bradbury not only uses language to bring forth this feeling of sympathy for the child but he uses the story setting and characterisation also.
The title of this story sums up the very basic idea of what this tale is about. All Summer in a Day is about a single day in which, for a short time, summer appears and then vanishes once again. Based on the far away planet Venus, it tells of a little girl Margot and her classmates that experience what Venus only experiences once every seven years, summer. Margot is the lead character and originally from planet Earth, she relocated to Venus with her family when she was four years old. Venus couldn’t be any more different to planet Earth, with its constant rain, clouds and storms. Margot misses Earth terribly and is the only child in her class at school to have ever seen the sun, or more accurately, to remember seeing the sun. On this particular day the children are learning about the sun and that today is the day the scientists have predicted will be a sunny one. Margot, being the only real sun expert, tries to correct their description of the star by detailing it as a penny and looking like fire. Already an outcast, the children scorn her and call her a liar. Margot was brave to speak up as she rarely joins in, a symptom of her loneliness and her homesickness for Earth. In retaliation to Margot’s unusual outburst the students decide to lock her away in the cupboard. Margot of course is distraught by this, as she knows she’ll miss the sun. Almost immediately after locking her away the teacher returns to the classroom and she escorts the children to the window. The rain begins to slow and for the first time they witness the sun appearing in the sky. The children bathe in its heat and play in the drying grounds outside but it doesn’t take long for a student to notice the raindrops begin to appear once more. The children return to the safety of their classroom and then they remember, they remember poor Margot in the cupboard. They forced her to miss the one thing she craved more than anything. They return to the classroom and slowly they unlock the door and release Margot from her cupboard prison in to perhaps, another prison.
The story is set in the futuristic world of Venus, where the sun never appears and the world is constantly battered by rain and storms. If the general thought of rainy weather all year round wasn’t enough to make the reader sympathise with the characters, Ray Bradbury goes on to use certain language to help us.
‘...thousands upon thousands of days compounded...”
is referring to the never-ending rain and the especially the word compounded, stimulates our senses and makes us feel like the sound of the rain is overwhelming. The writer in this quotation and within the paragraph as a whole uses the word thousand multiple times. Using repetition here and onomatopoeia with the word compounded, is enforcing this idea of constant bombardment, and in this case, referring to the rain. This in turn moves us to feel pity for the people living in such an environment.
When looking at the main character Margot, the writer has her emotions mirroring that of the...
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