Ray Bradbury Research Paper
Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He is the son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg Bradbury. Ray attended Los Angeles High School. He was active in the drama club and planned to be an actor. Bradbury’s formal education ended with his high school graduation in 1938. However, he continued to educate himself by spending his nights in the library. One of Bradbury’s best-known works, Fahrenheit 451, was released in 1953. It is set in the future in which a totalitarian government has banned the written word.
Today, Ray and Maggie Bradbury continue to live in Los Angeles. Ray Bradbury still writes daily and occasionally lectures. At an age when most men rest on their laurels, Bradbury remains a dynamic storyteller and contributor of “obvious answers to impossible futures.”(Jepsen and Johnson 4)
Ray Bradbury’s writing style has always been known to be poetic without being pretentious; it communicates abstract ideas with layman terms and engages our senses.
(Ray Bradbury Board) I enjoy Bradbury’s use of irony in stories, but especially in A Sound of Thunder when the killing of a butterfly changes all of civilization. The short story is about this wealthy man named Eckles who pays this time traveling company to take him back to prehistoric times, so he can hunt for a dinosaur. These dinosaurs have been selected because a previous survey indicated that they would die very soon anyway. Although this supposedly gets around the ripple effect, it quite obviously does not—a flaw in logic that Bradbury himself undoubtedly recognized.
“A Sound of Thunder” is about a wealthy man who has purchased a spot in a hunting trip named Eckles. The time traveling company doesn’t want diseases brought to the past, so they will wear environmental suits and they will also be required to walk on an elevated platform. Bradbury provides an excellent description of the ripple effect, showing how one minor change can multiply over thousands of generations until it has the potential to change the world beyond recognition. Only marked dinosaurs are allowed to be killed.
Surveys are conducted to see which dinosaurs should be marked and would die naturally anyway. Then, Eckles panics from seeing a tyrannosaurus appear, thus falling off the platform. The creature is dead, but the guide is still angry because Eckles could have changed the future. Before they traveled back in time, a heated election ends with a would-be dictator losing, but upon returning, there are few changes in the room, which the group notices as differences for reasons that Bradbury never explains. The most profound difference is that the election outcome is different. The alteration of history occurred because, when Eckles left the path, he inadvertently stepped on and killed a butterfly. (Don D’Ammassa 1)
When reading A Sound of Thunder, I noticed parts when Bradbury used foreshadowing. One example of foreshadowing in Bradbury’s short story is Lesperance’s explanation to Eckles on the dangers of small changes in the past having catastrophic effects on the future foreshadow the changes that occur. The constant warnings to stay off the path indicate that Eckles will leave the path. Another archetype of foreshadowing is when Eckles says, “Does this safari guarantee I come back alive?” They reply, “We guarantee nothing!” This in my opinion gives me the idea that the safari must be quite dangerous and anyone doing such an activity needs a plethora of courage. There are many examples of foreshadowing in A Sound of Thunder.
Ray Bradbury remains a dynamic storyteller and contributor of “obvious answers to impossible futures.”(Jepsen and Johnson 4) He writes stories in compelling ways that involve very complex ideas and he makes it simple to understand while still being in an intelligent way. One particular quote Bradbury has stated that I enjoy is, “Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”(Ray Bradbury Quote 1) Bradbury’s use of irony is probably one of his most famous writing traits; along with his way of being poetic, without being pretentious. In conclusion, Ray Bradbury will go down in history as one of the most famed science fiction writers of all time; even though, he never considered himself a science fiction writer. How ironic?
D’Ammassa, Don “A Sound of Thunder Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: Facts on File, Inc., 2005 Chris Jepsen, and Richard Johnson. Facts about Ray Bradbury: www.spaceagecity.com/bradbury/bio.htm Ray Bradbury: Xplore Inc, 2012. Ray Brabury Message Board: /HTML/000463.html Bleiler, Richard Science Fiction Writers: 2nd ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons Mittnacht, Veronica 10 Things you didn’t know about Ray Bradbury:
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Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He is the son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg Bradbury. Ray attended Los Angeles High […]