Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" Literary Devices

October 22, 2017

Ray Bradbury is well known to most as the author of Fahrenheit 451, but he also formulated the short story “All Summer in a Day”. The shorter story is about a young girl, Margot, who lives on venus where it’s sunny only once every seven years. She remembers the sun, but her classmates do not. They bully her over their lack of memory as if it is her fault. On the day of sun, they lock her in the room’s closet. The rest of the children go outside while she stays in her makeshift prison. The story ends with the children simply opening Margot’s jail cell door. The lesson that presents itself to the reader is that jealousy blinds you. Bradbury uses multiple literary devices such as sentence structure, similes, and even repetition to reveal the theme.


The first example the reader can pick up from the story is repetition. Throughout the writing, Bradbury’s characters constantly deny Margot’s experiences. One example is when Margot is speaking about the sun. Due to the kids’ jealousy they have obtained from knowing that Margot has seen the sun, they keep denying anything about it. They become blind to the fact that they are hurting her by constantly denying anything and everything she says about the sun and her experiences. In order to make themselves feel better about the lack of their own experiences, they decide to ridicule her to make her life seem as sunless as the rest of their’s.


Because of Margot’s young age and desperation to describe her old life, she tends to use similes to describe it. A time she uses this literary device is when she says, “[The sun] is like a penny.” Pennies are known as copper, shiny, and sometimes objects of little worth. When Margot calls the sun a penny, she could mean that on Earth, the shining sun is dismissed and looked over such as how the rain is on Venus. The other children’s aforementioned denial, however, shows that they are jealous of Earth; they wish that the sun could be something they see often. The simile mixed with the repetitive denial shows not only the extent of their jealousy, but also the unsympathetic values the children develop due to it.


One of the final examples Bradbury writes into his story is varying sentence structure. While describing the habitat of Venus early on, the author pens, “It rained.” The two word sentence shows how boring the world is. Longer sentences usually represent action/excitement, while short lines are used to show boredom and/or simple facts known to all in that world.This short sentence shows how bored the kids are with the rain. Margot, on the other hand, has known a time without the rain. She holds hope and anxiety for the event ahead, so the kids are jealous because she knows a time without boredom.


Although these statements may prove the theme, others may believe otherwise. A case in point with similes could be when Bradbury makes a simile comparing the children on Venus to roses deprived of sun. The simile argued does tells the reader of how the kids are jealous of Margot because she is not as deprived as the rest of them, but it does not explain how they are blinded by said jealousy.


The literary devices Bradbury writes in not only create a more interesting and engaging story, but they also help him better convey the theme of blinding jealousy. Throughout the denial, repetition, and similes, Bradbury tells the story of a girl from Earth and her peers on Venus who learn the important lesson of how jealously blinds.






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