Ray Bradbury

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A Sound Of Thunder Theme

What is the theme of "The Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The theme of Bradbury's short story is related to how everything in has a purpose and there is a causal connection for all of the events that subsume us.  There are things interlinked to a degree that we cannot see, so to disrupt one element could be catastrophic.  The idea that the time travellers seek to go back in time for sport or recreation (to kill the T. Rex) indicates this. It is another example of how modern tragedy is caused by the appropriation of the world in accordance to one's own subjectivity.  Eckels' fear that causes him to veer off the path might be one of but several moments of damage that the hunters caused to the time/ space continuum.  The resulting transport back to the future and the eventual victory of the Fascist candidate only proves that there are events in a sequence whose method we might not be able to envision.   I sense that this particular story is a good way for Science Fiction writers to present a position that critiques modernism and the supposed "growth" and "evolution" of society.  The theme can be applied to not only those who wish to appropriate the world in accordance to their own subjectivity, but really anyone who is so blinded by their own sense of accomplishment and individual superiority that they cannot see that they, too, are part of a chain of events and time that should not be broken.

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A Sound of Thunder is a time travel story that conveys a theme of the importance of all events and actions.  The story focuses on a single event that occurs on the time travel safari that...

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elena1marie | Student

What is the main reason they try to scare the hunters into following directions?