The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

Start Your Free Trial

Please write an in-depth summary of The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. This is a study guide question posted by eNotes Editorial. Please note that this material is intended to...

Please write an in-depth summary of The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. This is a study guide question posted by eNotes Editorial. Please note that this material is intended to supplement the information presented in our eNotes study guide.

Expert Answers info

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,833 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

The story opens at sunset and establishes a dark and desolate setting. We are told that the clouds blacked the sky "like threats," and everything is cold. The air is filled with a "sensation of torment." It is clear that a catastrophic war has occurred, leaving the world broken and scarred, but this event is never fully explained. Only its aftermath is evident. Pits scar the landscape, created by huge bombs, and the muddy, frozen roads are rutted from tanks. The narrative then describes an icy creek that flows toward a sort of tunnel containing a small red peat fire (real wood must be preserved for the coming winter, which is expected to be a great deal colder than the current season).

Four men sit around the fire, and one is so old that he seems like a "prehistoric priest" performing some ritual as he...

(The entire section contains 460 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial