Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Four Seasons as a Symbol

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the novel Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury seasons is a motif that symbolizes many different aspects of the book. In Something Wicked This Way Comes Bradbury uses the motif seasons to explain how good vs. evil is a battle everyone must encounter by characterizing different phases of life and personalities. Each season has different meanings like summer, it deals with adulthood and fulfillment, winter symbolizes old age and resentment, autumn represents the end of youth and tiredness and spring symbolizes childhood and youth.

For the season summer Bradbury symbolizes a great amount about this season. ”does that make us … summer people…Charles Halloway shook his head Oh you’re nearer summer than me. If I was ever a rare summer person, that’s long ago (pg. 193).” He talks about the summer people, who aren’t vulnerable to the carnival because they’re connected and they aren’t alone. Summer represents happiness, adulthood and the carnival preys on people who desire youth and people who are unhappy with themselves. ”Oh gosh, said Will. It’s hopeless! No. The very fact we’re here worrying about the difference between summer and autumn, makes me sure there’s a way out (pg.195). “ Here Bradbury is symbolizing that realizing you’re a summer person which is a happy connected person and not a autumn person a miserable person that wants youth, then they can defeat the carnival with the good they have bestowed in them. Summer is symbolizing the good and autumn is symbolizing the bad showing the good vs evil battle. “Jim swung round the waiting night in a great dark summer circle, Will racing after (pg. 269).” Summer is describing the carousel because summer means youth and fulfillment and the carousel can give you a sense of your every desire but it doesn’t really end up that way and the carousel can make you younger or older. It’s also shows how Will keeps Jim from being sucked in by the carnival because Jim is in between a summer and autumn person meaning he sometimes desires to be older but he also has happiness with his friend Will. Summer in the novel represents the good and self-acceptance to keep you connected and not able to be seduced by the carnival

In the novel winter is mentioned a lot showing old age and resentment. “You could never strike bottom there, it was like winter standing tall, waiting to kill with a glance (pg. 62).” It was like death and resentment was awaiting Ms. Foley. When Ms. Foley went into the mirror maze all she was going to see was a reflection of her old self and she was going to desire youth more. “Stay away from the maze where winter slept (pg. 122).” The mirror maze represents death and its shows you an image of yourself you don’t want to see and it toils with your self-perception so it can reel you in into the carnival. So since winter symbolizes death it is connected to the mirror maze which represents the same thing and also the evil of the carnival. “And winter lived in the witch (pg.250).” When Will and Charles Halloway showed the witch their teeth, meaning they smiled and saw how they were defeating her because good trumps evil. Winter is representing death and resentment which the witch basically is; Bradbury uses winter to symbolize a lot of different characters that are older and lonely and looking for youth so they could be happy.

Bradbury uses autumn to symbolize the end of youth and spring for youth in the novel. “Beware the autumn people (pg.192).” The autumn people symbolize the desire for youth and loneliness and they try to allure unconnected lonely people to the carnival. They show the bad part of becoming old and they let their desires consume them. “But there are times when we’re all autumn people (pg.193).” Everyone has a little bad in them as long as you don’t let it consume you. As long as you have more good than bad you’re okay. “Jim out in the starlight leaping way up and coming flat down like a spring tomcat (pg.94).” This is showing that Jim represents youth. Even though Jim wants to be older he is still a model for youth. “For it seemed woven of boar-bramble, clock-spring hair, bristle, and a sort of ever-trembling, ever glistening dark hemp (pg.73).” Explaining how Mr. Dark clothes are dark but still representing youth. Like Mr. Dark is a bad guy but he just desires youth and doesn’t want to be lonely.

For this motif which is seasons I explained how Bradbury develops each season winter, summer, spring, and autumn. He used the seasons as symbols to represent different personalities good and evil. Bradbury likes to use seasons to show different stages in life and what they represent “depending on the season and the need” (pg.197).Seasons were very important in the novel they showed how the characters were and their desires. In Something Wicked This Way Comes seasons plays a big role in knowing the overall theme in the novel that good vs evil is something everyone has to go through.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Age Theme in the Novel

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Ageless Times

In Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, the theme that physical age has very little to do with someones actual age is very prominent. This becomes apparent in several characters as well as with the over arching plot. Charles Halloway, while an old man in a physical sense, learns that his age does not mean he has to be an old man. He is very young at heart and proves to be a very important asset. Also, while Jim Nightshade is only truly 13 however the way he acts would cause someone to think he was much older if they did not know his age. Also, the entire sense of age in this story is thrown off due to a magic carousel which can cause people to become physically younger. These cause all physical appearances to be an unreliable estimate of age and make you think about a persons actions instead of their looks.

Charles Halloway is an older man who wishes nothing but to be able to do things that he once could in his youth. Even when he is around kids he must struggle to suppress his childish side. “Watching the boys vanish away, Charles Halloway suppressed a sudden urge to run with them, make the pack. He knew what the wind was doing to them where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life” (15). Charles has the desire to just go and play with the kids but he chooses not to because he thinks of his physical age as if it restricts him from doing so. However later on Charles realizes that his age does not have to hold him back, and if he is a kid at heart he should go with them. “Behind them jogged a middle-aged man with his own now solemn, now amiable, thoughts. Perhaps the boys slowed. They never knew. Perhaps Charles Halloway quickened his pace. He could not say. But, running even with the boys, the middle-aged man reached out. Will slapped, Jim slapped, Dad slapped the semaphore signal base at the same instant.” (212). When he truly accepts his age and does not let it hold him back he is able to just run with the kids and be who he truly is at heart, despite his growing number of years.

Jim Nightshade has a very dark and depressing outlook on life, one that does not seem natural in someone so young. When Jim’s mother mentions having children and Jim responds “Never going to have any, […] No use making more People. People die. That’s everything” (31). This shows that Jim has a very morbid sense of reality. This seems like a trait that people would not have as this young of a child. Something that a much older person would more likely have. This also shows that Jim is much older in his mind than he is physically. When Jim realizes there is a storm coming he thinks about something that could prove dangerous. “ Storm, he thought , you there? Yes. Why, he thought, why don’t I climb up, knock that lightning-rod loose, throw it away? And then see what happens?” (32). Jim thinks about this knowing that it could very well cause lightning to strike the house, endangering not only him but anyone else who was in the house. This shows a very reckless side of him with little care for his own, or others safety. While this is not an exclusively adult trait it is more common in older people where as people his age tend to normally be more care free and happy with themselves.

The Carousel in this story truly destroys any attempt at correlating somebody’s physical age with their mental or emotional age. When a man named Mr Cooger went onto the carousel in reverse, something very strange happened. “Cooger, as simple as shadows, as simple as light, as simple as time, got younger. And younger. And younger […] Now no longer forty where he had begun his back-spiraled journey, Mr Cooger was nineteen. Around went the reverse parade of horse, pole, music, man became young man, young man fast rendered down to boy” (58). Somebody who had been an older character up until this point is suddenly looking like a kid again. However, the carousel does not change somebody’s thoughts and feelings so he is still essentially a forty year old man in a young persons body now. Charles who is much younger at heart than he is physically is very tempted to use the carousel, however he came to a very smart conclusion. “Just ten times around, back, thought charles Halloway […] once you start, you’d always come back. One more ride and one more ride. And, after awhile you’d offer rides to friends, and more friends […] He hit the control box one or two times until it broke and scattered fitful lightnings” (211). Charles realizes that being physically young is something you can only appreciate when it is there for only a short time, and that it does not truly matter as long as you do not let it matter to you. Also if you change your physical age you are not going to change what people you know think of you, they will see you the same.

Jim Nightshade and Charles Halloway, while very different types of people, have very similar personalities. Neither of them fit in to what they should. Jim is a very overly mature child where as Charles is a very childlike and young at heart adult. Both of them see the carousel as a possible solution to their problem, however in the end both of them realize that the carousel is not the correct way to deal with themselves. They just needed to accept that they were who they were

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The Symbolism in Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Something Wicked Symbolism

Each story has a fresh and intriguing idea that it tries to convey over time. An allegory is a highly symbolic story that sends a specific message. The symbols in the allegory Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury clearly illustrate the theme that acceptance leads to happiness. The symbols that illustrate the theme include the Dust Witch, the Mirror Maze, and the Carousel. The acceptance of one protagonist is able to defeat one of the most evil characters of the entire story.

First off, The Dust Witch illustrates the theme that acceptance leads to happiness. The Dust Witch is stellar symbol throughout the entire reading.. She shows why she is a symbol through her deathly appearance and how she tries to kill Charles Halloway. The author states that “poison drizzled from her lips” and that Charles “counted the wrinkles in her stitch-wrinkled eyes.” Another way to identify her as evil is the fact that she tried to end Charles’ life. She attempts to slow his heart to the same beat as an old man’s. The Dust Witch becomes an obvious symbol of evil and death from one scene. Charles undoes her by his accepting death as a joke. He fights her by not caring about her of the carnival’s threats. He begins to everything about life as hilarious. When he starts to laugh she starts feeling pain instantaneously. Once he starts to chuckle even more she drops dead. The book reads, “Nothing mattered. Life in the end seemed a prank of such size. And the loudest roar of all, flung at the woman, burnt her hands, seared her face, or so it seemed, for she seized herself at a blast furnace.” (229. 4-5. 230. 11-13.) Charles finds happiness when he finally realizes that nothing matters and that

life is a prank. The Dust Witch is the one person that finally makes him understand. Her horrible actions cause Charles to find himself and become jovial in mere moments. His acceptance through from the near death experience finally causes him to be one with himself. The Dust Witch shows that acceptance leads to happiness in the clearest manner. Although an evil witch can cause someone to accept themselves, an attraction can do the exact same action.

Secondly. The Mirror Maze assists the idea in the story that acceptance leads to happiness. The Mirror Maze is a glaring example of symbolism in the book. The Mirror Maze defines itself as a symbol of fear and temptation. The Mirror Maze has drawn numerous people in such as Miss Foley and Jim Nightshade. It was able to attract Miss Foley back into her youth and go on the carousel. Miss Foley’s and Jim’s struggles both help the Mirror Maze’s case to be a symbol. Both situations show that it does in fact tempt innocent people into wanting to change themselves. While it may only work against one character, both are equally lured but one is able to escape its grasp. The Mirror Maze works against Charles Halloway to help the theme. Will and Charles enter the Mirror Maze to search for Jim. Charles starts to see clones of himself older and older from one mirror to another. He becomes self-conscious about his age and hides himself from all of it. Will then tell his dad that he does not care for his age and he will still love him under all circumstances. When he stops caring about his age and starts to laugh he destroys the Mirror Maze mirror by mirror until it is all gone. The Mirror Maze forces Charles to realize that his old age does not matter and he should live life to the absolute fullest. He finds happiness through his trials with the maze. Will says, “Oh Dad, Dad, I don’t care how old you are, ever! I don’t care what, I don’t care anything! Oh, Dad, he cried, weeping. I love you!” “A small sound escaped his mouth. A little larger sound escaped his mouth.” (258. 3-5. 15-16.) Will’s words to his father help identify the theme even more. When Will tells Charles he loves him no matter what he finally starts to learn to live with his old age. After doing so a sound, indicating a laugh, escapes his

mouth. Will is able to make his father joyful through only a few words. Charles finds true happiness by admitting to his mortality once again. Charles’ acceptance applies to other characters such as Jim. Anyone can find happiness by learning to be content with their flaws’. While happiness can defeat such powers’ as the Mirror Maze, it can also take down a whole evil operation.

Finally, the Carousel goes on to show that acceptance leads to happiness. The Carousel is the most prominent symbol during all of Something Wicked. The Carousel shows itself as a symbol of fear and pain. Throughout the story there are multiple instances of the Carousel showing its symbolism. One specific example is Miss Foley. After being tempted by the mirror maze she decides to ride the Carousel to bring herself back to her younger days. After the process Will and Jim find a little girl in the middle of the town. They find her sitting on the ground crying, fully afraid of the environment surrounding her. Miss Foley’s blunder shows exactly why the Carousel exemplifies fear and pain. The Carousel becomes fear and pain by forcing those two words onto anybody that becomes involved with it. Anytime someone uses the Carousel that person suffers inconceivable amounts of fear and pain. Negativity affects anyone involved with the evil attraction. At the end of the story Jim, Charles, and Will all come to the Carousel. They each begin to think about taking rides to better themselves’. They quickly come to a consensus that the machine must be destroyed for good. They all find happiness with their respective age and run off from the carnival. The group’s final actions help strengthen the theme. The three characters’ all start to think about going on the Carousel. Each start to give into the temptations’ of the Carousel. They then remember what will happen to them and know what they have to do. Each of them accept their age as a fact of life and know they need to move on without the Carousel. They are able to become happy with their current age. When the three accept themselves they can finally find satisfaction in life. They do not require a major lifestyle change to live a regret-less life. Charles wonders, “Is Death important? No everything that happens before Death is what counts.”

“Then, as the moon watched, the three of them together left the wilderness behind and walked into town.” Charles’ thoughts give insight into the theme. He realizes that death does not matter and that he should only worry about what he does while alive. Both Will and Jim understand the same information in their own ways’. They can all be content even though they know death is coming. Each one accepts life as what it is. None of them need a new age to live to their full potential. Each of the characters’ acceptance helps to convey the book’s amazing idea.

Something Wicked’s highly symbolic story undoubtedly states theme of how acceptance leads to happiness. First, Charles Halloway is able to accept his mortality for a joke he can finally find peace and defeat the Dust Witch. Secondly, Will Halloway helps his father become content with his old age and destroy the entire Mirror Maze. Finally, Will, Jim, and Charles all come to terms with their flaws to defeat the main attraction of the dastardly carnival, the Carousel. In conclusion, Something Wicked This Way

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An Analysis of the Blind Optimism in Something Wicked This Way Comes, a Novel by Ray Bradbury

January 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

While reading this book, I first struggled with the question of how it pertained directly to the class material. It seems almost as if the book is written as one long poem. While I was typing my exam, I began to take notice of similarities between the characters in the book and the over arching theme of optimism that I stressed in my paper. The first fifteen, or so, chapters describes one single day where we get to know the characters. In this section of the book we meet Will and Jim, two 13 year old boys. Jim is the more adventurous of the two boys and will is more reserved. It seems like he always follows Jim at a distance, but either way Jim can persuade him to do almost anything. We also meet Charles Halloway in this first part of the novel. He is Will’s father and works in the town library. In this early part of the novel I can relate to the attitudes that were present in America after the first World War. Jim represents America’s blind optimism in regards to creating in a utopia. Jim is all of the wall street speculators who believed there was no end to the rising stock prices.

Will can be related to America’s more reserved side, he is equally ambitious but. Like I said, follows Jim at a distance. He lets Jim make mistakes but is always there to help him. Will plays a similar role to the presidents during the early half of the 1920’s. He doesn’t over regulate Jim but is always there to support him. Will’s father Charles Halloway is the lessons that we don’t learn from history. His demeanor in the first part of the novel is that of sadness. There is a sense that he knows how the world really works and despite this he is still secretly intrigued by the arriving carnival. This is where Will gets his reserved side , similar to how presidents are always studiers of history. Will learns from the mistakes of his father. When the carnival finally arrives at town, members of the community such as the boys’ teacher Miss Foley, Mr. Cougar and the lightning rod salesman are all enticed and seduced by the carnival and the tattooed man that runs it. Mr. Dark has the ability to fulfill their desires but as a result these people will lose themselves to the carnival. This is similar to the theme of selling one’s sole to the devil. The role Mr. Dark Plays is in our history textbooks is that of money. The members of the community are so blinded by the spectacle of the carnival(the stock market in 1921-1928) that all they see is an optimistic future ahead. Jim is one of these people enticed by the carnival. He also follows blindly. As the evil nature of the carnival is revealed, one can relate it to the stock market crash in 1929. As a result of people being over optimistic, they face negative consequences.

Towards the end of the novel while Will and his father attempt to save Jim and end the carnival, they play a role similar to that of Presidents, Hoover and FDR, who attempt to restore America through their economic and social plans after the 1929 crash. At the end of the novel Jim(the optimism of the American people) has ended up confused and close to death. Will and Charles halloway save Jim by dancing and laughing. Jim’s revival symbolizes the country’s return to normalcy through the industry that happens during WWII. This brings us into the current day where the people of Green Town and people in modern day America still have the same opportunities to make mistakes or succeed through optimism. As far as a review go’s I did not enjoy the book that much. The writing was a little too poetic for my taste. I am more of a non fiction fan. I was reading it looking for it’s historical significance. The book serves the purpose of an allegorical reference to the optimistic and foolish hopes of Americans.

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The Temptations of Adulthood

January 11, 2021 by Essay Writer

“And that was the October Week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young anymore…”

So begins Ray Bradbury’s dark carnival fantasy, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Age and the loss of innocence are strong themes in this story: the boys are barreling forward into adulthood while the adults are looking back, yearning for their lost childhood. By comparing and contrasting the circumstances and desires of children and adults, Ray Bradbury creates an in-depth exploration of childhood and the aging process that positions his work as far more than a typical coming-of-age story.

Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine, two of Ray Bradbury’s most acclaimed novels, are both set in the small, picturesque hamlet of Green Town, Illinois. This town is in many ways similar to Bradbury’s own hometown of Waukegan, Illinois (Johnson 89). These stories thus belong to a rarely-seen genre, that of the autobiographical fantasy (Mogen 112). The events from Bradbury’s childhood in Waukegan and his experiences as an adult are such clear influences in these writings that “it almost seems as if he has forgotten nothing: no incident from his past escapes his artistic vision and revision” (McNelly). Bradbury conceptualized these tales as depictions of the two sides of adolescence, symbols of summer and autumn (Mogen 113). This notion of the progression of adolescence has deep roots in the author’s own history. During Bradbury’s childhood, a common occurrence in Waukegan was for a circus train to stop in the town. As a child of four, Bradbury went on a carousel for the first time, and the experience terrified him – a terror that is clearly present in Something Wicked This Way Comes (Mogen 125). Also located in Waukegan is an old library identical to the one featured in this story (Johnson 90). This infusion of the real into the fantastical generates a sense of realism that makes the Green Town stories so unique in the literary canon.

It is only natural that since Bradbury put so much of himself into Something Wicked This Way Comes, the story contains both deep symbolism and an outline of his own views on many aspects of life – and especially that of adolescence, which is a central theme in the book. Bradbury “enlarges and distorts the symbols that stand for the preoccupations of adults” (Diskin 148). The carnival, the carousel, and the mirror maze are all manifestations of the themes of frivolity and superficiality. Those townspeople who are tempted by superficial desires are also tempted by the evils of the carnival. Will and Jim, still being children, have not yet succumbed to sin, and as such are able to resist the temptations of the carnival (Diskin 148).

In Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury offers an unwavering opinion on the many differences between adults and children. It is almost as if the children and the adults in the book belong to entirely different species (Diskin 128). Indeed, they are such polar opposites that they are unable to achieve any semblance of a peaceful coexistence. The adults of the story yearn to recapture their youth, feeling as if they are aging far too quickly. Charles Halloway repeatedly speaks of wanting to be young again. It is not until Charles Halloway bridges the gap between himself and his son, thus embracing the part of himself that is still a child, that he is able to work alongside the boys to destroy the carnival and evade the dangers that it poses (Diskin 149).

The theme of the sadness of aging is also symbolized by the carousel. It lures unsuspecting victims with images of youthful joy, yet the funeral march that plays during the ride reminds the riders that each year of life only brings them closer to their own funerals. Those vain souls who are lured onto the ride are obsessed with frivolity and live lives rife with sin (Diskin 148). Ms. Foley becomes so obsessed with the carousel and her desire to become young again that she fails to notice that “the nephew” is not her own nephew, and even gives the names of her students to the devil himself, Mr. Dark.

The aging of the boys, however, is depicted in a positive light. Will’s ascension to the role of leader after Jim loses his sense of self to the carnival’s power is portrayed as a positive development. Will’s superior skill at staying calm and level-headed in the face of danger is first demonstrated during chapter 30, when Will takes the lead and defeats the Dust Witch. Will’s transformation paves the way for the “desperate antics of he and his father when Jim’s life is at stake” (Diskin 149). Charles’s “desperate antics” also reveal Bradbury’s belief that it is better for an individual to age naturally while embracing all aspects of his or her character. The victory over the carnival that Charles and the boys share suggests that one should disregard the temptations of eternal youth and be thankful for the unique joys offered by each stage in life.

In Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury hopes to impress upon readers his belief that it is not the process of aging that is evil, but rather the temptations and desires that often go hand-in-hand with adulthood. Also, he seems to believe that the manipulation of the aging process is an evil practice, as shown by the agony suffered by those who fall into the trap of the carnival. The tale is a complex exploration of aging and the perils of adulthood, and a hybrid of fiction, fantasy, and reality. Bradbury’s portrayal of adults and children as inherently different reveals the profound changes that human beings undergo over a lifetime, and provides a new perspective on the typical coming-of-age story.

Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes. New York: Harper-Collins, 1997.

Diskin, Lahna. “Bradbury on Children.” Ray Bradbury. Ed. Martin Harry Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander. New York: Taplinger, 1980. 127-155.

Johnson, Wayne L. Ray Bradbury. New York: Frederic Ungar, 1980. 89-105

McNelly, Willis E. “Bradbury.” Supernatural Fiction Writers. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985. 917-923. Literature Resource Center. Gale Group. Central High School Library, Keller, TX. 23 March. 2006. <http://access.gale.com/tlc>

Mogen, David. Ray Bradbury. Boston: Twayne, 1986. 113-127.

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The Perils of Adulthood in “Something Wicked This Way Comes”

June 6, 2019 by Essay Writer

“And that was the October Week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young anymore…”So begins Ray Bradbury’s dark carnival fantasy, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Age and the loss of innocence are strong themes in this story: the boys are barreling forward into adulthood while the adults are looking back, yearning for their lost childhood. By comparing and contrasting the circumstances and desires of children and adults, Ray Bradbury creates an in-depth exploration of childhood and the aging process that positions his work as far more than a typical coming-of-age story. Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine, two of Ray Bradbury’s most acclaimed novels, are both set in the small, picturesque hamlet of Green Town, Illinois. This town is in many ways similar to Bradbury’s own hometown of Waukegan, Illinois (Johnson 89). These stories thus belong to a rarely-seen genre, that of the autobiographical fantasy (Mogen 112). The events from Bradbury’s childhood in Waukegan and his experiences as an adult are such clear influences in these writings that “it almost seems as if he has forgotten nothing: no incident from his past escapes his artistic vision and revision” (McNelly). Bradbury conceptualized these tales as depictions of the two sides of adolescence, symbols of summer and autumn (Mogen 113). This notion of the progression of adolescence has deep roots in the author’s own history. During Bradbury’s childhood, a common occurrence in Waukegan was for a circus train to stop in the town. As a child of four, Bradbury went on a carousel for the first time, and the experience terrified him – a terror that is clearly present in Something Wicked This Way Comes (Mogen 125). Also located in Waukegan is an old library identical to the one featured in this story (Johnson 90). This infusion of the real into the fantastical generates a sense of realism that makes the Green Town stories so unique in the literary canon. It is only natural that since Bradbury put so much of himself into Something Wicked This Way Comes, the story contains both deep symbolism and an outline of his own views on many aspects of life – and especially that of adolescence, which is a central theme in the book. Bradbury “enlarges and distorts the symbols that stand for the preoccupations of adults” (Diskin 148). The carnival, the carousel, and the mirror maze are all manifestations of the themes of frivolity and superficiality. Those townspeople who are tempted by superficial desires are also tempted by the evils of the carnival. Will and Jim, still being children, have not yet succumbed to sin, and as such are able to resist the temptations of the carnival (Diskin 148). In Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury offers an unwavering opinion on the many differences between adults and children. It is almost as if the children and the adults in the book belong to entirely different species (Diskin 128). Indeed, they are such polar opposites that they are unable to achieve any semblance of a peaceful coexistence. The adults of the story yearn to recapture their youth, feeling as if they are aging far too quickly. Charles Halloway repeatedly speaks of wanting to be young again. It is not until Charles Halloway bridges the gap between himself and his son, thus embracing the part of himself that is still a child, that he is able to work alongside the boys to destroy the carnival and evade the dangers that it poses (Diskin 149). The theme of the sadness of aging is also symbolized by the carousel. It lures unsuspecting victims with images of youthful joy, yet the funeral march that plays during the ride reminds the riders that each year of life only brings them closer to their own funerals. Those vain souls who are lured onto the ride are obsessed with frivolity and live lives rife with sin (Diskin 148). Ms. Foley becomes so obsessed with the carousel and her desire to become young again that she fails to notice that “the nephew” is not her own nephew, and even gives the names of her students to the devil himself, Mr. Dark. The aging of the boys, however, is depicted in a positive light. Will’s ascension to the role of leader after Jim loses his sense of self to the carnival’s power is portrayed as a positive development. Will’s superior skill at staying calm and level-headed in the face of danger is first demonstrated during chapter 30, when Will takes the lead and defeats the Dust Witch. Will’s transformation paves the way for the “desperate antics of he and his father when Jim’s life is at stake” (Diskin 149). Charles’s “desperate antics” also reveal Bradbury’s belief that it is better for an individual to age naturally while embracing all aspects of his or her character. The victory over the carnival that Charles and the boys share suggests that one should disregard the temptations of eternal youth and be thankful for the unique joys offered by each stage in life. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury hopes to impress upon readers his belief that it is not the process of aging that is evil, but rather the temptations and desires that often go hand-in-hand with adulthood. Also, he seems to believe that the manipulation of the aging process is an evil practice, as shown by the agony suffered by those who fall into the trap of the carnival. The tale is a complex exploration of aging and the perils of adulthood, and a hybrid of fiction, fantasy, and reality. Bradbury’s portrayal of adults and children as inherently different reveals the profound changes that human beings undergo over a lifetime, and provides a new perspective on the typical coming-of-age story. Works CitedBradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes. New York: Harper-Collins, 1997.Diskin, Lahna. “Bradbury on Children.” Ray Bradbury. Ed. Martin Harry Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander. New York: Taplinger, 1980. 127-155.Johnson, Wayne L. Ray Bradbury. New York: Frederic Ungar, 1980. 89-105McNelly, Willis E. “Bradbury.” Supernatural Fiction Writers. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985. 917-923. Literature Resource Center. Gale Group. Central High School Library, Keller, TX. 23 March. 2006. Mogen, David. Ray Bradbury. Boston: Twayne, 1986. 113-127.

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