How did Ray Bradbury use action in the story "All Summer in a Day"?

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estoverl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All Summer in a Day has contrasting moods and tones that help the reader to experience the dark, gloomy day to day conditions on the planet Venus. It is on Venus that some children are living in constant rainy conditions where the sun shines only once every seven years. Bradbury uses action to help convey the mood and tone as well as to build suspense in the story.

In the beginning of the story, not much is going on beyond conversation. The conditions on Venus are described as well as why the children live there. The children begin to talk with each other and at first, as the rain and gloom is described outside, there is little action. It soon becomes clear from the narration and the conversation that the children resent Margot a great deal.

As the children confront Margot, the only child who has seen the sun and can remember it, and the conflict between them builds, the action in the story increases. A boy shoves Margot, more of them push her and soon, she is pushed down a hallway, into a closet where the door is slammed shut and locked.

The rain stops and the children know the sun is coming out. As they race outside, the action increases. They dance in the sun, forgetting all about Margot locked in the closet. Their happiness is described through their actions as they frolic in the sun. As the rain again starts however, they slowly return inside. The action slows down completely. There is silence where before there was excited chatter. One person speaks softly, slowly remembering Margot and they slowly walk back to let her out of the closet. The tone and mood of the story, return to the dark sadness it had in the beginning.