All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury
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In Ray Bradbury's "All Summer In A Day," how is the sun described?

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In Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day," the people who live on Venus only see the sun for an hour once every seven years. The story revolves around a class of nine-year-olds who were born on Venus and cannot remember what the sun looks or feels like. Margot, however, who was born on Earth, remembers the sun vividly. Margot's perspective provides many figures of speech and descriptions about the sun. For example, Margot recalls the following about the sun:

"About how like a lemon it was, and how hot. . . 'I think the sun is a flower. . . It’s like a penny,' she said once, eyes closed. . . 'It’s like a fire,' she said, 'in the stove.'”

In the above passage, there are three similes and one metaphor that Bradbury uses to describe the sun through Margot's eyes. First, the similes compare the sun to a lemon, a penny and a fire in a stove. Then, a metaphor compares the sun to a flower. These comparisons are based on Margot's perspective and on things that she would know about or relate to in her child-like mind. Lemons, pennies, flowers, and fires are all possibly connected to her life's experiences; therefore, it is from these experiences that she is likely to retrieve information to describe the sun. None of the other classmates understand her, though, because they do not share similar experiences with the sun. She could only think to herself the following:

"She knew they thought they remembered a warmness, like a blushing in the face, in the body, in the arms and legs and trembling hands."

When the sun does finally come out, and the children are released to go outside to experience it, the sun is described using personification as follows:

". . . when the sun came out for an hour and showed its face to the stunned world. . . It was the color of flaming bronze and it was very large. And the sky around it was a blazing blue tile color."

It is interesting that other visual images through colors are observed when the sun comes out: "flaming bronze" and "blazing blue." The children's reactions also bring out colorful descriptions of the sky as follows:

 ". . . they put their hands up to that yellowness and that amazing blueness and they breathed of the fresh, fresh air. . ."

Therefore, Bradbury uses similes, metaphors, personification, and visual images of color to describe the sun and its effects on characters in the story.

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