All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

Start Free Trial

Examine the differences and similarities between the short story "All Summer in a Day" and the short film adaptation.

Some similarities between the "All Summer in a Day" short story and film adaptation include the bleak setting and the mistreatment of Margot by the other children. Some differences include the character growth of William and conflict resolution that takes place in the film adaptation, but not in the original story. 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

While the movie version targets a satisfying ending for the viewer, the short story doesn't quite have the same effect. As with any piece of literature that has been made into a film, there is an overarching common element: What would the viewer prefer? Directors cater to a happy ending whereas authors take more risks with audience approval. This is the case in the short story.

Bradbury prompts the reader to reflect on the injustice of the short story, but the movie closes with a sense that justice has been served. The viewer may accept the pained expressions of the children as penalty, but Bradbury's tone suggests otherwise.

At the end of the short story, there is no semblance of a funeral procession as portrayed in the film. When the children realize that Margot has missed out on seeing the sun, their facial expressions are truly remorseful, and they proceed one-by-one to give her flowers. The symbol is not missed; it is a formal apology to pay respect for Margot's lossthe death of her dream to see the sun again. The reader, however, doesn't get the same insight. Bradbury does not paint a picture of sad, guilt-stricken children. Instead, the reader can conclude that the children must feel some sense of remorse because they are walking very slowly toward the closet to let Margot out, but perhaps they are simply fearful for what punishment might ensue.

The film casts William in a different light from the short story. Despite him being a bully in both pieces, the film reveals his growth as a character. He repents for his wrongdoing by making restitution with his bouquet of flowers. This is a sharp contrast from the story, where he remains static and his emotions are veiled. Movie-version Margot accepts William's apologetic gesture and smiles, taking him by the arm and proving that forgiveness prevails. Sadly, this does not occur in the story.

Overall, the setting and the theme share similarities, but the contrasts outweigh these positives. Both are worthy of review, but Bradbury eloquently demonstrates that the audience, in this case the reader, bears the responsibility of preference.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Here is an analysis of the differences and similarities between the movie and the story "All Summer in a Day":


The story starts with the children “pressed against each other” looking out for the hidden sun from the “great thick windows.” Only Margot stands away from the crowd of children. The movie, on the other hand, starts with the children playing in what appears to be the school grounds. They are kicking a can. Margot does not play with the others.

Afterwards, the children “go under the lamps,” an activity that is monitored by William, as the teacher is not present. Margot refuses to “go under the lamps,” prompting William to contact the teacher virtually, on a television-like device. The teacher encourages Margot to “go under the lamps.” This activity does not happen in the story.

Towards the end of the movie, the children pick up flowers, during the “coming out” of the sun. They do this a short time before the rain begins to pour. While picking up flowers, one of the girls realizes that Margot is not with them. They hurry back to the school, open up the door to the closet and let out Margot. They give her the flowers that they had picked as a peace offering. However, in the story, the children only realize Margot’s absence while already at the school. They free Margot but do not offer her any flowers. In fact, we do not know what happens after the children open the door to the closet where Margot had been. The end of the story feels sadder than that of the movie because of this suspense. The conflict between Margot and the other children goes unresolved.


Both the story and movie have William, the boy who repeatedly bullies Margot. Also, in both, the children lock up Margot in a closet so that she completely misses the sunshine. When the sun comes out, the children go out to play in the jungle. The children free Margot from the closet and are remorseful for what they have done.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I am going to make the presumption that the video in question was the 1982 version of the story.  Certainly, both works represent the idea that the rain on the planet Venus is inescapable.  There is a certain dreariness that is captured in the film that represents the same condition in the short story.  I think that the idea of Margot being fundamentally different is evident in both representations, as well.  Bradbury captures the essence of difference through Margot.  The reactions of the students to Margot's being different is also evident in the film and the story.  I think that the primary difference is in the ending of both works.  The film version shows Margot being the benefactor of the children's repentance, offered flowers in a sign of communion and solidarity at end of the film.  The story is much more bleak in this regard.  Margot is not really received.  There is little sign of reconciliation or even an acknowledgement of the intensity of wrong done to Margot.  Instead, there is a silent condition that falls upon the children with the realization that Margot is in the closet. In letting Margot out, there is little in way of emotional reflection present.   The film is able to assert that the children acknowledge their wrong and seek to make it up to her with the presentation of flowers.  This is a stark difference between the film and the movie.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team