All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

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What is the symbolism of the sun in "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury?

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As with most of Bradbury's works, the symbolism can be tied back to man's basic quest to figure out who he is and how to survive. Often the sun also symbolizes a promise of tomorrow or immortality in Bradbury's writings. 

In "All Summer in a Day " the sun...

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symbolizes a reminder of who they all really are as humans. It symbolizes emotion, color, life and hope or the promise of tomorrow. The kids that lock Margot in the closet prior to the sun coming out seem incapable of empathy and devoid of any emotion that might represent the cruelty of their actions. Additionally, they are pale and colorless both in appearance and emotion. Only after experiencing the sun do they appear as though they might feel remorse for their actions and be able to express appropriate emotion. Once running into the sun the author writes:

"And the jungle burned with sunlight as the children, released from their spell, rushed out, yelling into the springtime."

The word "spell" indicates that on Venus, no one is who they really are as humans. However, when released to run freely in the sun, they are released from the spell and are described out in the sun by Bradbury in words that describe normal, human children experiencing freedom and play. 

Therefore, the sun symbolizes a promise of a return to who humans really are and how they experience life on Earth. 

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The sun serves as symbols for a variety of things in Ray Bradbury's short story, "All Summer in a Day." For Margot, it is a reminder of her happier days on Earth, before her family has relocated to Venus. In her poem, she writes that

I think the sun is a flower,
That blooms for just one hour.

It reminds her of the hope for the future, that she and her parents will one day return to Earth; in fact, they may return within the year because Margot misses it so, despite the fact that her father's salary will be greatly reduced back home. Margot also compares the sun's roundness and "flaming bronze" to a "penny," and its warmth to "a fire in the stove." The sun is a symbol of a life source, not only for plants and trees, but also for Margot, whose appearance is similar to a "ghost" because of her paleness. The sun also symbolizes a quiet silence that is always absent due to the relentless, pounding rain.

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