All Summer in a Day Questions and Answers
by Ray Bradbury

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What is the messageĀ of "All Summer in a Day"?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"All Summer in a Day" communicates the message or theme that envy leads to cruelty.

In this story, the other children envy Margot because she is the only one of them who remembers seeing the sun. The others came to Venus when they were two, so can't recall even one day of sunlight. She arrived later, so she has vivid memories of the sun, likening it at one point to a copper penny. She is depressed because she misses the sun, and so doesn't join often with the other children's games. They think she is acting superior. They are also envious that her parents might leave Venus early, despite the very high pay for being there, because she is so depressed.

Because the other children envy Margot, they cruelly turn on her and lock her in a closet just as the sun is appearing. It seems they don't mean to leave her there the entire time the sun is out, but they are so excited that they forget her until it is too late.

Bradbury shows how human nature, from an early age, can lead to envy and lack empathy, which in turn can result in cruelty. The message conveyed is to try to be more considerate and thoughtful to people who may be hurting or seem a little different.

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Octavia Cordell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The message, to me, is about how someone who is "different" will always be singled out. Margot is different than the other children -- she's smarter, and more creative, but beyond that, she can actually remember living on Earth. She has memories of the sun, something the other children lack. In a sense, she is more authentically human than the others. This makes the other children jealous, and causes them to act out against her. When Margot is locked in a closet and forgotten about for the short time when the sun comes out, I think we have to consider this as more than simply a prank that has gone too far. The children are, in effect, appropriating (or even stealing) Margot's experience -- now everybody has the same memory of the sun as Margot. It's an attempt to erase what made her special. Kids will be kids, even on Venus.

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