What is the "problem" in the story "All Summer in a Day"?
There are several "problems" in the story.
- One is intolerance. Margot is "not like" the other children -- there is something sad or wistful about her, that sets her apart and makes her the target of bullies. She doesn't play their games, for example, and when she exercises her poetic sensibility, she is accused of stealing it from somewhere else. Of course, her real "difference" is that she has lived on Earth, and alone among the children has a memory of what the sun is like.
- A second problem has to do with the constant rain. The story suggests that there is an emotional connection between people and their environment -- everyone is starved for the sun! One way to understand this is to ask to what extent living on the Earth, and being a part of Earth's environment, makes us human.
- The third problem poses an answer to that question. The fact that Margot is locked in a closet out of spite for the entire time the sun comes out suggests that certain basic human traits -- cruelty, pettiness, jealousy -- will endure no matter what planet we find ourselves on. Whether other, more positive traits, like foregiveness, will also endure -- Bradbury won't say. Who knows what Margot will do when she is let out at the end?
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