All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury
In All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury we have the theme of jealousy, bullying, isolation, colonization, acceptance and pride. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realizes after reading the story the Bradbury may be exploring the theme of jealousy. Margot is the only person in her class who can remember seeing the sun. She lived on Earth before her family moved to Venus and unlike the other children she still remembers the sun clearly. This causes a lot of jealousy among her class mates who end up bullying Margot and isolating her from class activities. What is also interesting about Margot is the fact she will not change her mind. She is stubborn and proud enough to not change her mind. Despite it being easier for her if she did pretend that she could not remember the sun. She would no longer be bullied or isolated from her peers.
In fact so jealous of Margot are her peers that they lock her in the closet so that she will not see the sun when it appears. This may be significant as it not only symbolizes jealously and isolation but it also highlights that the children in the class do not like Margot because she is different. If anything this suggests that Margot’s peers are unable to accept someone who is different to them. The fact that Margot’s family have been paid thousands of dollars to move to Venus may also be important as it highlights the difficulties that those on Earth have when it comes to the colonization of Venus. It is as though people have to be bribed to go to Venus. There is however relief for Margot from the pain and suffering she endures as it is rumoured that she and her family will be returning to Earth the following year.
The setting of the story is interesting as Bradbury is taking a theme that would be common today (climate change) and placing it and its subject on another planet and highlighting the difficulties that can happen when the climate of a planet changes. There may be other symbolism in the story which might be important. The fact that the children write short stories, essays and poems about the sun shows how excited the children are about the possibility of seeing the sun. There is also an introduction of imagined colours by the children which further highlights the excitement that the children feel about the prospect of seeing the sun. The fact that Margot is locked in the closet is a clear example of bullying and how those that are bullied are isolated from others. In reality they are made to feel different to their peers.
The end of the story, particularly the fact that the children let Margot out of the closet, is significant as it suggests that the children no longer view Margot as being different to them. They too have seen the sun and know that Margot has not lied. It is as though she will be accepted by her peers. Though at the same time they do not necessarily admit to any wrong-doing. However life will return to normal for a traumatized Margot. If the rumours are true she will no longer have to live on Venus and will return to a more normal life back on Earth. She will no longer have to live a life in whereby she is viewed differently by others and she can be completely accepted. Something which is important to young children. No child wants to be viewed as being different to their peers as it only leads to bullying and isolation.