Why are some children cruel and discriminatory toward other children in "All Summer in a Day"??

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In “All Summer in a Day” the children are cruel and discriminatory toward Margot because she is different.  She is frail and small, and she has only been on Venus for five years so she remembers the sun.

The main reason that the children are against Margot is because she is different.  She is a frail and ghost-like child, who does not fit in with the others and keeps herself apart.  The story takes place on Venus, where it has rained for seven years.  The other children barely remember the sun, but Margot has only been on Venus for five years and she remembers seeing the sun on Earth.

When the sun does not come out as expected, the children turn on Margot.  They resent her for having seen the sun, and they now think they won’t get to see it.  One boy starts to get angry, saying it was all a joke.   Margot is disturbed.

"Oh, but," Margot whispered, her eyes helpless. "But this is the day, the scientists predict, they say, they know, the sun. . ."

The children decide to put Margot in a closet before the teacher comes, and then they go out and see the sun.

The children do feel bad when they realize that Margot missed the sun because they forgot to let her out.

They looked at each other and then looked away: They glanced out at the world that was raining now and raining and raining steadily. They could not meet each other’s glances.

Children are often cruel to one another.  They are slaves to their emotions.  When the children thought that they would not see the sun, the grief and pain welled into anger, and they turned their anger on Margot out of jealousy.  She had seen the sun, and they hadn’t.  

There is also a certain amount of mob mentality at work here.  Margot is different, so they take it out on her.  She is not one of the group.  As a group, the children do not have names.  Margot, the victim, is the only one named.   Bradbury uses this technique to demonstrate how the children behave as a mob.