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A Sound of Thunder

by Ray Bradbury

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What is the setting of "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

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Locations that the author Ray Bradbury describes in the short story "A Sound of Thunder" include the company office, the interior of the time machine, the hunting site 60 million years in the past, and a different version of the office at the story's end. The main location is a dense green primeval jungle.

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The basic setting in which the story takes place is a jungle in which a safari is being conducted.  The characters are on a type of safari- like hunt for a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  The safari is taking place during the prehistoric times, courtesy of a time machine in which people from the future can pay a sum of money and travel back in time.  It is this setting in the past with people from the future in which Bradbury is able to construct his story, establishing the setting for it.  The characters may be of the future, traveling back in time to the prehistoric past, but Bradbury does not let this obscure the basic flaws of what it means to be human.  This character trait is something that we see in our own sensibilities in the current setting and is reflected in these characters from the future who have traveled back in time.  This helps to bring out what Bradbury would see as an intrinsic human characteristic that is able to be evoked for all human beings regardless of time period.  In this, the characters from the future who are immersed in a setting of the past display the same type of human qualities that define what it means to be human throughout time.

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What is the setting of "A Sound of Thunder"?

Because "A Sound of Thunder" is an exploration and critique of the hubris of using advanced technology for frivolous purposes, the story has two settings: the age of dinosaurs and the "present day" in the United States in a near future shortly after a presidential election.

Eckels, the main character, has paid a large sum of money to travel back on a "safari" to kill a Tyrannosaurus rex. The present day of the story, as we encounter it through Eckels, is bureaucratic and technological, dominated by his experience at the time machine company. He and the man booking his safari are both grateful that Keith, rather than Deutscher, a potential dictator, won the recent election.

Bradbury spends more time on the dinosaur age, describing some of what Eckels sees as follows:

The jungle was high and the jungle was broad and the jungle was the entire world forever and forever. Sounds like music and sounds like flying tents filled the sky, and those were pterodactyls soaring with cavernous gray wings

Most of Bradbury's descriptive energy, however, is spent on describing the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex—so much bigger than any animal in the present-day world—and the theoretical wonders and dangers of time travel.

Eckels and his party return from the safari, Eckels having caused problems by panicking and killing a prehistoric butterfly. Now, changes in the setting reveal that he has, in fact, changed history. He is first alerted to the change by spelling variations on the safari sign, then discovers that in this new version of the present, Deutscher has become president.

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What is the setting of "A Sound of Thunder"?

"A Sound of Thunder" takes place in three distinct settings. When the story begins, the action is occurring in the office of Time Safari, Inc., at the present time, after a very significant presidential election in which the democratic leader defeated the candidate that would have led to tyranny. 

The setting then changes to the past when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The men are on a safari to hunt the T Rex.  Time Safari Inc has established rules and procedures to control their impact on this environment, but ultimately they are unable to maintain complete control. This setting is significant because it represents man's interference in natural events and our desire to control natural processes.  

The setting then changes back to the original time and location, but with an alternative reality due to the effect of the interference in the past.  Now instead of the democratic leader winning the presidential election, the fascist leader has won. This small change in the setting changes every aspect of daily life for the characters in the story. This setting is significant because it represents the importance of man's responsibility for his actions.

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What does the location look like in "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

There are four different locations, or settings, in the science fiction short story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury. These include the Time Safari office, the interior of the time machine capsule, the prehistoric jungle, and a different version of the Time Safari office at the end of the story. From descriptions that the author gives throughout the story, we can get an idea of what these various locations look like.

First of all, the story opens with a description of a sign on the wall of Time Safari, Inc., which includes a summary of the service it offers. The company takes customers into the past to hunt animals. A receptionist sits behind a desk in the office. The time travel machinery is a flickering and humming mass of "wires and steel boxes."

Inside the time machine, the guide and passengers sit on padded seats. They wear oxygen helmets and communicate via intercoms. The machine howls, and as they move backwards in time, suns and moons seem to flee across the sky.

When they arrive at the prehistoric jungle, they are over 60 million years in the past. A metal pathway floats six inches above the ground, and they are instructed to stay on it. Around them are giant ferns, palm trees, bright red flowers, and a steaming swamp. They hear bird calls, and there are also subtler sounds of "twitterings, rustlings, murmurs, and sighs." They smell tar and a distant salt sea. Pterodactyls with large gray wings fly overhead. Ultimately, the enormous and terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex appears. The protagonist, Eckels, becomes frightened, accidently steps off the path, and crushes a butterfly with his boot. This changes the future to which they return.

When they return to the future, the man behind the desk looks slightly different. The sign on the wall now says "Tyme Sefari Inc." and the rest of it is similarly misspelled. A different man has won the previous day's presidential election. Everything has changed because of when Eckels went off the path for a moment and stepped on a single butterfly.

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What is the setting of the story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

The setting of a story can be described as both the time and the place. Though the exact geographical location is not given, the place in time is. The story takes place both in the future and in the distant past. As the story begins, the setting is 2055. The story then moves back in time 60 million years to the age of dinosaurs. 

At the beginning of the story, the setting is a business that offers customers time travel. Customers in the year 2055 are at the business inquiring about traveling back in time 60 million years to hunt for dinosaurs. Once their request is granted, after a brief amount of time in the time machine, the setting of the story changes to the outdoors, a jungle setting. It is now approximately 60 million years in the past. The hunters are ordered to stay on a walking path that heads out through a jungle.

As the plot of the story continues, a dinosaur is killed according to the company's strict guidelines and the men all return through the jungle to the setting of the time machine. At the end of their time travels, the men find themselves back in 2055, inside the business of the time travelers again.

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What is the setting of the story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

In literature, the setting provides the reader with enough information to allow him or her to visualize essential elements of any story and is particularly relevant in a story in which the theme revolves around events which have the potential to change the future. Such is the situation in Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder , where the so-called, Butterfly effect, which Eckels brings effect to, has far-reaching implications. In this case, the setting includes the future and the past and time, therefore, is an integral part of setting. 

Basically, the setting includes, as a reader would expect, the surroundings or location but also includes the historical aspect, which gives the story its depth and context. Setting also allows for character development and, in this case, we see how Eckels failure to respect his environment, having traveled back from the year 2055, can have disastrous implications: 

"Its purpose is to keep you from touching this world of the Past in any way. Stay on the Path. Don’t go off it....For any reason!"

Transported back in time, Eckels carelessly steps on a butterfly, despite being reminded not to step off the path in an environment he has been privileged to experience through the benefits of time travel. The benefits of technology are also relevant to the setting as, without technology, the "anti-gravity metal" would not be able to protect the environment. It seems however, that even technology could not protect this world as human nature revealed its flaw. Eckels actions and even the outcome of the story are thus influenced by the setting. The importance of the setting of A Sound of Thunder can be summed up: 

“messing around in Time can make a big roar or a little rustle in history.”

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What is the setting of the story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

“A Sound of Thunder” is science fiction story set in the future.  It takes place in the year 2055, and they travel back in time to the time of the dinosaurs.

The story opens at Time Safari, Inc.  It is a time travel company.  They have this sign.

TIME SAFARI, INC.

SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST.

YOU NAME THE ANIMAL.

WE TAKE YOU THERE.

YOU SHOOT IT.

The company takes people back to any year they want to hunt any animal they want.  They go to the time of the dinosaurs, where a man named Eckels wants to shoot.  He is told to stay on the path, because if they leave the path there could be disastrous consequences.

Eckels does accidentally step off the path onto a butterfly.  Then he changes the future.  When they return to 2055, there is a new president and things are spelled differently.

This story is an exploration of the law of unintended consequences.  If you make one small action, it can have a ripple effect—the butterfly effect.

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What is the setting of the story "A Sound of Thunder"?

The story actually has two or three settings, depending on how you view them. In its framework, the action is set in the future, presumably in the year 2055. Time travel is possible, but only by following strict requirements. The business called Time Safari, Inc. takes people back in time to shoot and kill exotic, now-extinct animals. The story begins and ends in this office.

The main plot involves a hunting party that uses the time machine to go back to prehistoric days. Their goal is to kill a Tyrannosaurus rex that would otherwise be killed by a falling tree. This setting is obviously vastly different, almost primeval. It’s a tangled green jungle, outfitted with a Path that the hunters must stay on in order to not disturb or injure anything. The dinosaur appears and is killed, the tree falls, and the hunters return to their own time.

But is it their own time? Immediately they notice changes because one of the party members had stepped off the Path. They return to the Time Safari, Inc. office, but things are now slightly different – enough, that it could be considered a third setting. This leads to the point of the story: time travel has the ability and danger of changing the future. 

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Describe the setting of "A Sound of Thunder."

The majority of "A Sound of Thunder" takes place in the distant past, during the end of the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs were still alive. However, this occurs in the context of a future society that has created a time machine and commercialized access to the past, at least in this case, in the form of time safaris, which allow one to hunt and kill animals which are extinct in the modern era. 

Thus, everything taking place in the past, from the nature of the world to the animals in it, is occurring in the context of this being a real, yet temporary "trip" - in the same way that traveling across an ocean once took an enormous amount of thought, planning and execution, we can now buy a plane ticket and simply wait a few hours. Inherent in this aspect of the setting is the danger that accompanies traveling to the past - any alterations, or even interactions, no matter how small, may have an impact upon the way that history plays out. Eckels, the naive hunter who has purchased an expedition to kill a tyrannosaur, seems to have difficulty grasping the idea that anything he does which alters the flow of history might end up exterminating humanity, for example. There is simply no way for anyone to predict the exact outcome of changing the past - and so the setting, aside from jungles and tyrannosaurs, is one of imminent and omnipresent danger, as if the past were more like a museum than a living world.

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