More Than a Writer

May 6, 2018

Ray Bradbury was a science-fiction writer that inspired and influenced many. He was born on August 22, 1920 in Illinois. His parents, Leonard Spaulding and Esther Moberg Bradbury, also had four other children in addition to Ray. After his childhood, he wrote many story books and novels. Over the span of his life, he earned the best author of 1949 by National Fantasy Fan Federation, the Benjamin Franklin Magazine Award, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award, an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Eagle Film Award, and the Writers’ Guild of America West Valentine Davies Award.   Ray Bradbury, a writer, was heavily influenced by his childhood events and his trip to Mexico.


Firstly, one influence of Ray Bradbury was some of his childhood events. For example, his “Green Town” seen in some of his books was inspired by Waukegan, Illinois. This small town near Lake Michigan is where he was born and grew up (“Ray Bradbury” 1). Also, “Switch of the Night” was inspired by Bradbury’s childhood fear of the dark. It was written to ease the fear of his children (“Ray Bradbury” 1). In addition, Bradbury’s Aunt Neva greatly contributed to his imagination. She gave him books and brought him to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Wizard of Oz (Winters 1). Another example of his childhood influencing Ray Bradbury was his cousin’s near drowning in Lake Michigan when Bradbury was seven years old. This event inspired one of his books, “The Lake” (“Ray Bradbury” 2). Lastly, Bradbury spoke on how going to the library as a child influenced him: “I’m a child of libraries, which is why my work works the way it does. I grew up in libraries and graduated from the library, you might say, when I was 28. So my influences have come from every single room in the library,” (Shalit 1). Each of these examples clearly demonstrates how Ray Bradbury put small pieces of his childhood into each and every one of his works.


Secondly, an event that influenced Ray Bradbury was his trip to Mexico. One example is how Bradbury admired Mexicans’ respect for the past and their comfort in their fate. This feeling inspires his description of ancient Martians in The Martian Chronicles (“Ray Bradbury” 3). Another is how the alienation astounded Bradbury, which is shown in “The Highway” and “And the Rock Cried Out” (“Ray Bradbury” 3). Bradbury also demonstrated his optimism in some of his Mexican stories. These include “En La Noche” and “Sun and Shadow” (“Ray Bradbury” 3). Another element that showed Ray Bradbury’s Mexican influence was “The Next in Line”. This work displays his interest in the catacombs of Mexico. (“Ray Bradbury” 3) Lastly, Mexico’s Day of the Dead influenced him: “Besides the mummies, the most affecting of Bradbury’s experiences in Mexico was probably the Day of the Dead celebration, which also figures prominently in “The Next in Line” and is the focus of “El Dia De Muerte” (“Ray Bradbury” 3). All together, Ray Bradbury’s trip to Mexico brought him new, creative ideas and broadened his spectrum of cultures in his works.


Overall, his childhood experiences and his trip to Mexico influenced Ray Bradbury.


Locations of his childhood such as the library and his home town inspired many of his books. Also, his family, including his Aunt Neva, introduced him to many popular works which grew his imagination. The Mexicans’ mindsets and customs that he experienced while in Mexico inspired some of his works. In addition, Bradbury showed his two sides to his idea of Mexicans: the skeptical side and the optimistic side. Ray Bradbury is remembered today and will be remembered forever for showing his readers a new light to their imagination.


 






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