How did Margot change in "All summer in a Day"?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Margot likely became more withdrawn and isolated.

Margot is not like the other children on Venus.  Most of them have been on the planet all of their lives, so they all are in the same boat.  They have never seen the sun, and they have that in common.  Margot is different, and children do not like difference.

Margot has been to the planet Earth.  She has seen the sun.  This makes her sad, and keeps her isolated from the other children.

They edged away from her, they would not look at her. She felt them go away. And this was because she would play no games with them … If they tagged her and ran, she stood blinking after them and did not follow.

When one child is different from the others, bullying is sure to follow.  Margot keeps herself apart, so the children do not like her.  They also do not like her references to the sun.  They are jealous.  As a result, on the day when the sun is supposed to come out, the children play a cruel joke on Margot.

They surged about her, caught her up and bore her, protesting, and then pleading, and then crying, back into a tunnel, a room, a closet, where they slammed and locked the door.

We do not know what happened after this incident, because the story ends here.  We know that the children changed after they locked Margot in the closet.  They know she missed the one time the sun came out.  They felt terrible about it.  They may have tried to apologize.  We can only imagine how a sensitive girl like Margot would have reacted, but it is not likely she would have been receptive to this either.

For a child who was already so delicate to be treated this harshly is a terrible crime.  We can imagine that this incident had long-lasting effects on Margot.  Post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental illness where you react strongly to something terrible that has happened to you, is a possibility.  She possibly would have been afraid of the dark after this.  She probably would have avoid the children even more.

This is a story about the effects of bullying and group mentality.  Groups form and target difference.  One of the unique things about this story is it shows the contrition of the bullies.  The children feel bad about what they have done.  

This story demonstrates the concept of the mob mentality.  The children acted as a group because that is what happens with the mob mentality.  Individual responsibility breaks down, and each person just acts as a member of a group.  This was little comfort to Margot though, who still suffered long-lasting effects because of it.

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vnessawong21's profile pic

vnessawong21 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

In "All Summer in a Day" is set in a futuristic time zone where everyone lives on Venus and the sun can only be seen once every 7 years. Margot, the protagonist of the story, is the only child in her class to have seen the sun since she came from Earth as opposed to being born on Venus. By talking about the wonder and beauty of the sun that will soon come up for the first time in seven years, Margot incites jealousy amongst her peers. Her peers lock her into a closet for "lying". However, true to Margot's word, the sun soon comes up and all of the other kids run outside, happily awestruck by the beauty of sunlight. It is only after the sun has faded away for the next seven years that the kids remember Margot locked up in the closet. 

How Margot changes is not directly stated but several interpretations can be drawn. The reader can assume Margot now has a bleaker view on things and is possibly filled with hatred, sorrow and bitterness. Like any kid who is extensively bullied, Margot may become withdrawn and suffer from depression especially after being denied the sun she waited seven years to see. 

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