Where does foreshadowing take place in the story "All Summer in a Day?"

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The fact that Margot was going to be bullied was foreshadowed by the other children’s treatment of her and her isolation from them.

Foreshadowing is an author's hint earlier in the story at what is going to happen later.  In this case, the author is hinting that Margot is going to be locked in the closet by the children in her class and miss the sun coming out, which only happens once every seven years on Venus.

The author begins with foreshadowing the incident by showing us the relationship between the children and Margot. First of all, Margot does not fit in with the other children.  She does not relate well to them, because she does not participate in their games.  They reinforce this by bullying her.  This does not mean the Margot is responsible for them bullying her, it just means that the cycle continues repeatedly.  Margot isolates herself, and the children isolate her.

Margot is the only child in the class who remembers Earth.  This is why she is the “other.”  Children do not like differences.  It is a fact of human nature.  Children can just be brutal.  Margot remembers Earth, and she is different, and the other children are jealous of her for it.  It is a double threat.

As a result, Margot protects herself by distancing herself from the other children.

They edged away from her, they would not look at her. She felt them go away. And this was because she would play no games with them …. If they tagged her and ran, she stood blinking after them and did not follow.

On Venus, the sun only seems to come out once every seven years.  Margot has seen it, but the others do not remember it because they are all nine years old.  They were only toddlers and can’t remember when it came out when they were two.  The fact that she says she remembers it from her days on Earth frustrates them.  The fact that she has been to Earth to them must seem really luxurious.  What’s worse, she says she may go back.

There was talk that her father and mother were taking her back to Earth next year. … And so, the children hated her for all these reasons of big and little consequence.  They hated her pale snow face, her waiting silence, her thinness, and her possible future.

All of this foreshadows what actually happens to Margot.  She is emotionally and metaphorically separate from the children at the beginning of the story.  They hate her.  They will soon make her physically separate.  The author takes pains to show that the sun is about to come out.  He explains that the class prepared, reading about the sun.  He shows that the teacher left, and the children were on their own.  Children left on their own, what happens when children are left on their own?  Trouble!

Bullying is a serious problem, and it is a part of the human condition.  You can say that the teacher should have been more aware of what was going to happen.  The teacher should have seen the signs.  No one seems to see the signs.  All around the world (maybe the universe), teachers are missing the signs.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial