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All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

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Description of Venus and its child inhabitants in Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"

Summary:

In "All Summer in a Day," Venus is depicted as a perpetually rainy planet where the sun appears only once every seven years. The child inhabitants are pale and sun-deprived, having never seen the sun, which makes them both curious and envious of Margot, who remembers sunlight from her life on Earth.

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What is the description of planet Venus in Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"?

Bradbury writes that it has been raining for seven consecutive years on the planet Venus, and the human colonists have constructed an elaborate underground network of tunnels and compounds to survive the treacherous climate. Bradbury likens the environment on the planet Venus to a continual tidal wave, which crushes the plant life and extensive forests like an avalanche. Through the thick classroom windows, the children watch the heavy rains and listen to the loud, continuous thunderstorm. The forest and plant life on Venus are the color of "rubber and ash" from lack of sunlight, which is a similar color to the surface of the moon. The atmosphere is also dark, threatening, and ominous on the planet. There are extremely strong winds, which are compared to hurricanes, and dangerous lightning continually flashes in the sky. While Margot is locked in the closet, the rain suddenly stops as the sun shines for the first time in seven years. The children finally leave the classroom and experience the warm sunshine as it burns the surrounding jungle. Bradbury writes that the vegetation on the planet grows tumultuously while the sun is shining, and the children have a chance to enjoy the fresh air. After an hour of sunshine, it begins to thunderstorm again, and the climate returns to its normal chaotic state.

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What is the description of planet Venus in Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"?

Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" is set on the planet Venus. The description of the planet is not based on scientific evidence; rather, it is as Bradbury creates it for the foundation of the plot and conflict of the story. The description of the story's imaginary setting is as follows:

"It had been raining for seven years; thousands upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain, with the drum and gush of water, with the sweet crystal fall of showers and the concussion of storms so heavy they were tidal waves come over the islands. A thousand forests had been crushed under the rain and grown up a thousand times to be crushed again. And this was the way life was forever on the planet Venus . . ."

Since the planet has only seen rain each day for seven years, then it can also be inferred that the sun has not shone during that time, either. For the human children who were born on Venus, and don't know what life on Earth is like, they also don't know what the sun feels like on their skin. 

When the sun does come out, however, further details are given as to what the planet looks like outside of the human dwellings. For example, "The children lay out, laughing, on the jungle mattress, and heard it sigh and squeak under them, resilient and alive." The descriptions from the story also say that the children run around trees. Therefore, it can be inferred that not only does Venus experience a lot of rainfall, but as a result, the terrain is like a tropical jungle—green, lush, and full of life.

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How does Bradbury describe Venus and its child inhabitants in "All Summer in a Day"?

In Bradbury's short story "All Summer in a Day," he describes the planet Venus as a rainy, depressing planet, where the sun only shines once every seven years. At the beginning of the story, Bradbury uses hyperbole to describe the planet's torrential rain by writing that the storms were so heavy that "they were tidal waves come over the islands." Bradbury also utilizes repetition to emphasize the consecutive days of constant thunderstorms by commenting on the "thousands upon thousands of days" of rain and writing that a "thousand forests" were crushed by the heavy storms. Bradbury presents life on the planet Venus as dismal, cold, and depressing.

The sound of the heavy rains is compared to that of an avalanche or volcano, and Venus's thick jungle is the color of "rubber and ash" from lack of sunlight. The planet is always dark, and dangerous lightning flashes in the sky, resembling a deadly hurricane. The inhabitants are forced to build underground cities to survive the treacherous climate, and the children growing up on Venus have never seen the sun. Once the sun shines for a brief hour, the entire planet seems to come to life as vegetation immediately grows and the children enjoy the outdoors for the first time in their lives. Once the hour is up, dark clouds quickly gather as the constant thunderstorms resume.

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How does Bradbury describe Venus and its child inhabitants in "All Summer in a Day"?

In the short story "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury, the author describes the planet Venus as a place where clouds cover the sky, rain falls almost continually, and frequent huge storms surge over the landscape. Tropical forests grow continuously in the constant rainfall. Only once every seven years, the clouds part and the sun comes out for a few hours. Bradbury begins this description early in the story in a paragraph that begins, "It had been raining for seven years." In this paragraph, he writes of "the concussion of storms" and of forests that are crushed under the rain but then grow up again.

When the rain abruptly stops and the children run outside, Bradbury describes the brief interval of sunlight on Venus. The sun is "the color of flaming bronze," the sky is "a blazing blue tile color," and the jungle shines in the sunlight. The air is warm. The jungle is thick, tangled, and drab. Bradbury compares it to "a nest of octopuses" with "the color of rubber and ash" because of "the many years without sun." Soon, rain begins to fall again, the children hear "a boom of thunder," and lightning strikes closer and closer. The continuous rainfall has begun again.

The nine-year-old children in the story have grown up in a world without sunlight. They have to use sunlamps to simulate the sun's rays. The sun came out once when they were two, but they do not remember it. Bradbury introduces Margot, who came from Earth and remembers what sunlight is like, as a contrast to the children born on Venus. They don't like her, because they are envious of her memories of the sun on Earth, while they are used to only rain and storms. This causes them to bully her and treat her cruelly. As Bradbury writes,

And then, of course, the biggest crime of all was that she had come here only five years ago from Earth, and she remembered the sun and the way the sun was and the sky was when she was four in Ohio. And they, they had been on Venus all their lives, and they had been only two years old when last the sun came out and had long since forgotten the color and heat of it and the way it really was. But Margot remembered.

After the children lock Margot in the closet and the rain stops, for them, the silence is "immense and unbelievable," because they do not remember ever experiencing a silence so complete. They run and play outdoors in the sun. When the rain starts again and they have to go indoors, only then do they realize how cruel they have been to Margot in denying her the opportunity to experience the rare sunshine.

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