A Sound Of Thunder Characters

What are the roles of the characters in "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

The characters whose roles I am looking for are: Mr. Travis, Eckels, and Lesperance.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ray Bradbury's science fiction short story "A Sound of Thunder" has a plot driven by the actions of the characters:

Eckels

This character certainly is the catalyst to the problem of the plot of Bradbury's story.  Were it not for Eckels's stepping off the path where he has been forbidden to do so and bringing back the crushed butterfly on his boot, the alterations in life in the present time would not have happened--the "butterfly effect."

Mr. Travis

Travis is the safari guide into the past who takes Eckels on his trip to shoot a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Time Machine.  He describes the dangers of the time travel and of shooting a dinosaur to Eckels, who accuses Travis of attempting to frighten him.  Travis replies that he is doing so in an attempt to prevent anyone from going who will disrupt the order of things or cost people their lives.

When Eckels does get frightened, it is up to Travis to shoot the dinosaur and make Eckels remove the bullets so that nothing will be out of order in the past.

Lesperance

Interestingly, this character's name means "hope."  Working for the time-travel company, he scouts ahead for animals that will not have a future, and, therefore, have no part in any order of the future.  For instance, he has found a Tyrannosaurus Rex who will be killed by a falling tree; this is the dinosaur that Eckels is assigned to shoot. If Eckels kills this dinosaur, nothing in the future will change. 

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "A Sound of Thunder," Mr. Travis is an employee of Time Safari Inc. He is a safari guide, tasked with telling people what they can shoot and when to take the shot. It is also his responsibility to ensure that people follow his instructions to the letter because if they do not, they risk permanently altering the course of the future.  

As the safari guide, Mr. Travis is helped by his assistant, Lesperance. It is his role to track the dinosaur through "its entire existence" so that he can work out the exact time and place of its death. He uses this information to ensure that the safari hunters meet the dinosaur just prior to death—the only time they can take their shot. 

Eckels is a character who pays to go on safari with Time Safari Inc. After seeing an advertisement, he decided that he wanted to go on safari and experience shooting a dinosaur.