All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

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According to the description in Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day," what is the planet Venus like?   

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Bradbury writes that it has been raining for seven consecutive years on the planet Venus, and the human colonists have constructed an elaborate underground network of tunnels and compounds to survive the treacherous climate. Bradbury likens the environment on the planet Venus to a continual tidal wave, which crushes the plant life and extensive forests like an avalanche. Through the thick classroom windows, the children watch the heavy rains and listen to the loud, continuous thunderstorm. The forest and plant life on Venus are the color of "rubber and ash" from lack of sunlight, which is a similar color to the surface of the moon. The atmosphere is also dark, threatening, and ominous on the planet. There are extremely strong winds, which are compared to hurricanes, and dangerous lightning continually flashes in the sky. While Margot is locked in the closet, the rain suddenly stops as the sun shines for the first time in seven years. The children finally leave the classroom and experience the warm sunshine as it burns the surrounding jungle. Bradbury writes that the vegetation on the planet grows tumultuously while the sun is shining, and the children have a chance to enjoy the fresh air. After an hour of sunshine, it begins to thunderstorm again, and the climate returns to its normal chaotic state.

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Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" is set on the planet Venus. The description of the planet is not based on scientific evidence; rather, it is as Bradbury creates it for the foundation of the plot and conflict of the story. The description of the story's imaginary setting is as follows:

"It had been raining for seven years; thousands upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain, with the drum and gush of water, with the sweet crystal fall of showers and the concussion of storms so heavy they were tidal waves come over the islands. A thousand forests had been crushed under the rain and grown up a thousand times to be crushed again. And this was the way life was forever on the planet Venus . . ."

Since the planet has only seen rain each day for seven years, then it can also be inferred that the sun has not shone during that time, either. For the human children who were born on Venus, and don't know what life on Earth is like, they also don't know what the sun feels like on their skin. 

When the sun does come out, however, further details are given as to what the planet looks like outside of the human dwellings. For example, "The children lay out, laughing, on the jungle mattress, and heard it sigh and squeak under them, resilient and alive." The descriptions from the story also say that the children run around trees. Therefore, it can be inferred that not only does Venus experience a lot of rainfall, but as a result, the terrain is like a tropical jungle—green, lush, and full of life.

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