I See You Never by Ray Bradbury
In I See You Never by Ray Bradbury we have the theme of connection, loss, freedom, change, authority and the American Dream. Taken from his The Golden Apples of the Sun and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Bradbury may be exploring the theme of connection. Mr Ramirez has made a connection with not only Mrs O’Brian but to his environment. He is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who has for a short period of time lived the American Dream and felt free and unshackled but times have changed for Mr Ramirez. He is to be deported from America because his temporary visa has run out. This may be significant as it is possible that Bradbury is suggesting that those who achieve or long for the American Dream only hold onto it for a short time and those who are living the dream may not necessarily know how lucky they are.
There is also a sense of loss in the story. Mrs O’Brian has not only lost a good tenant and a good man but Mr Ramirez has lost the dream he so dearly tried to hold onto. Not only is he to be deported from America but his life will never know the same freedom that he once had while living in America. In reality Mr Ramirez was able to roam as he pleased and to do as he pleased. If anything Bradbury may be asking the reader to look at the situation as being one in whereby a man regardless of how hard they work or how obliging they are, legally is not necessarily secure in his environment. Authority can change a man and his destination which is very much the case with Mr Ramirez.
There may also be some symbolism in the story that might be important. The setting for example has Mr Ramirez literally standing at the threshold of Mrs O’Brian’s home. If anything Bradbury is using Mrs O’Brian’s home as a metaphor for America. He is outside the home for the entirety of the story and as such he is outside America and unhappy. Mr Ramirez’s eyes are described as being ‘dark’. In many ways this mirrors Mr Ramirez’s mood. He is at a low point because he is being expelled from America. Similarly it is noticeable that Mr Ramirez slowly built up his life by first purchasing a radio, a symbol for freedom, and eventually travelling through the town by tram. Again Bradbury may be suggesting how free Mr Ramirez felt while living in America.
The end of the story is interesting as Bradbury continues to explore the theme of loss. Not only does Mr Ramirez tell Mrs O’Brian that he will never see her again but it also dawns on Mrs O’Brian that she will never see Mr Ramirez again. This sense of loss is important as it suggests or at least it may suggest that Bradbury is allowing for those in America to see the loss that has occurred. Mr Ramirez is a foreigner who may have been good for America. He didn’t get into trouble and he has never hurt anyone. In reality this sense of loss has a tragic tone and the reader is left realizing that those in authority (the policemen) may not necessarily know what is good for an individual or a country
This Ray B. story has pulsed through my thoughts recently after an extended cousin moved away. We had an on again off again relationship as it was so difficult for me to spend prolonged time with her emotional trauma she readily shared with me. I enjoyed Sharing a common dialogue and having empathy for her but it was taxing emotionally.. perhaps for both of us, She’s moving two states over and I’ll probably never see her again.