All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

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

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The theme of "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury is the darkness of the uneducated mind. This is expressed through the cruelty of the children who bully Margo by locking her in a closet because they do not understand the truth of what Margo has said about the sun.

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One thematic idea in Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" is that of the darkness of the unenlightened mind. 

In his short stories, Bradbury frequently uses imagery, such as that of the sun. Sun imagery is often representative of God and enlightenment. Because the children who have lived on Venus most of their lives have not seen the sun, they are limited in their perspectives. For this reason, they resent Margot's little verse that is superior to theirs, even accusing her of not having written these lines:

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

Further, in the darkness of their minds, they hate Margot for her memory of the experience of the heat and color of the sun, an experience that they were too young to remember because they came to Venus sooner than she. When the day arrives for the sun's appearance after seven years, one cruel boy pretends that it is not the day that the sun comes out. He declares that nothing is going to happen. In the absence of the teacher who would correct the boy, the others go along with him. The cruel boy seizes her, and the others assist him in putting Margot into a dark closet. They lock the door. When the sun comes out for an hour, the children run excitedly, pressing their fingers to their faces where the warm, golden rays touch them.

Then, wildly, like animals escaped from their caves, they ran and ran in shouting circles.

After the hour of sun ends, 

They looked at each other and then looked away. They glanced out at the world that was raining now. . . . They could not meet each other’s glances. Their faces were solemn and pale. They looked at their hands and feet, their faces down.

The light of the sun has given them self-knowledge and shown them the shamefulness of their actions in depriving Margot of the incredible experience that has just occurred. For they know now the truth of what Margot has said about the sun. In their enlightenment, the children realize the terrible wrong that they have committed against this girl because of the darkness of their own minds.

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Two predominant themes throughout Ray Bradbury's short story "All Summer In a Day" examine adolescent bullying and being a social outcast. Throughout the story, Margot is considered a social outcast because she is different from her peers. Unlike the other students, Margot was born on earth and recently moved to Venus five years ago. She also remembers what the sun looks and feels like, which is a significant source of jealousy stemming from her peers. Margot is a shy, reclusive girl who does not participate in many of the games her peers play. Unfortunately, Margot is teased and regarded as strange because of her unorthodox behavior. Adolescent bullying is portrayed as extremely traumatic and heartless as the students lock Margot in a classroom closet while the rain stops. Margot's rare chance to experience the sunshine is lost due to adolescent bullying. While Bradbury chose to write an open ending, one can surmise that missing a chance to experience the sun traumatically affects Margot's well-being.

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The theme for "All Summer in a Day" is bullying and jealousy. Kids, and people alike, can be so mean when they are confronted with someone different than their current understanding or when they are jealous.  Margot had known what the sun looked and felt like when she lived on Earth; but, the children of Venus who get to see the sun for two hours once every seven years could not relate to her experience. The children wouldn't have locked Margot in the closet at that very special moment when the sun comes out if it had not have been for William. William is the antagonist who suggests that they lock her up because,

". . .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."

Here we see that motive behind the rage and jealousy that the children felt for Margot. Whether it is one situation or another, Bradbury brings out a true principle of the human condition with this story; and that is the effects that jealousy can have when acted upon.

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What is the theme of "All Summer in a Day"?

I would suggest that "All Summer in a Day" is a story about alienation and victimization, played out among schoolchildren in a Science Fiction setting. (This story takes place on the planet, Venus.)

The central character of this story is Margot, who is rejected and bullied by her classmates. She had only arrived on Venus five years earlier and thus has retained her memories of Earth. She has had difficulty adjusting to her new life on Venus, and this has left her as an outsider among the children.

In Bradbury's story, Venus is a planet of continuous rainfall, where the sun only comes out one day in all the year. On this particular day, the children lock Margot in a closet before going out to enjoy the sunlight.

The end of the story introduces one last element into this thematic texture. With the rain falling once again, the children return to the classroom (where Margot has been trapped for all that time). This final scene has a very subdued tone to it, as the children must face their own guilt and shame for the act of cruelty they had inflicted.

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What is the theme of "All Summer in a Day"?

The theme of “All Summer in a Day” is the cruelty of mob mentality.

Theme is the universal message of a story.  In the story, a group of schoolchildren live on the planet Venus with their “rocket men” parents.  Venus is a very rainy place.  In fact, the sun only comes out once every seven years, and even then it only stays out for two hours.

A group of children are anxiously waiting to see the sun.  A girl named Margot does not fit in with the group.  She is from Earth, and has only been on Venus for five years.  She remembers the sun, and she is timid and frail.

Margot is the only child in the story who has a name.  The other children are just a mob, described as “weeds” in the story.  The children turn on Margot when the sun does not come out, and they decide to lock her in a closet. 

As with many mobs, one boy starts the process but the other kids go along with it.

They surged about her, caught her up and bore her, protesting, and then pleading, and then crying, back into a tunnel, a room, a closet, where they slammed and locked the door.

The violence and savagery with which the children lock Margot in the closet contrasts with her timidity and frailty.  Margot is the “other” and the children are taking out their frustration on her because she is different, and because they are jealous that she has seen the sun.

They stood looking at the door and saw it tremble from her beating and throwing herself against it. They heard her muffled cries. Then, smiling, they turned and went out and back down the tunnel, just as the teacher arrived.  

The children smile because they have accomplished something in locking Margot up.  When they realize she missed the sun, they feel bad.  It does not say what happens when they let her out.

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What is the theme of "All Summer in a Day"?

In simplest terms, theme can be defined as the main message that the author is trying to get across. It is the main idea with a message. Friends might be a main idea but "friends always stick together" might be a theme. Mood can be defined as words that describe the way the story makes the reader feel or an attitude it projects. The mood of a story might be humorous, terrifying or triumphant.

The theme of "All Summer in a Day" might be described as isolation. This theme is portrayed in the character of Margot, who is not only an outcast child tucked away on the planet Venus but also an outcast to her peers. The other children with her on Venus also portray isolation, tucked away on a dark, rainy planet far from Earth and family. The fact that the author never explains why they are there, adds to the theme of isolation. The setting itself with the dark, dreary endless, rainy days helps the reader feel the theme in the form of a mood of loneliness and sadness. While the author writes briefly that the children are happy in the short time of sun, the overwhelming majority of the story's theme of isolation creates a mood of loneliness and sadness in the reader.

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What is the lesson in Ray Bradbury's "All Summer In A Day"?

Margot has two strikes against her: first, she is different from the other children, and, second, she has something they don't: she can remember having seen the sun. 

She can describe the sun. For example, she says it looks like a copper penny in the sky. This incites the jealously of the other children. Children like William bully her because they want what she has. 

Margot also differs temperamentally from the other children. She has a sensitive, artistic disposition. She doesn't join the other children in their games in the tunnels. She is depressed about being on Venus and rejects life there. In doing so, she rejects the other children. They, in turn, reject her. 

Another child might have buried her pain and tried harder to fit in, but that is not who Margot is.

The point—or a point—of the story is that groups are cruel to those they perceive as different from themselves. There is a malicious mob mentality lurking in people's souls that makes them want to crush other people's most cherished dreams. That darkness might be worse than the endless rains on Venus and more effective at snuffing out people's inner light than seven years without the sun. 

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What is the lesson in Ray Bradbury's "All Summer In A Day"?

There can be more than one lesson to learn from any story in literature. More often than not, people apply the messages from stories to their own lives in different ways and based on personal experiences. (This is where themes come from, too.) Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" is a story that addresses human nature and group mentality. For example, it is human nature to doubt one person's experiences when everyone else in a group has not had that same experience. Margot remembers seeing the sun when she lived on Earth, but children on Venus doubt that she ever saw the sun because they do not have the same experience. Not only do Margot's classmates doubt that she remembers the sun, but William in particular vocally challenges her about it. Either William is jealous that Margot remembers the sun while he doesn't, or he simply doesn't believe that the sun will ever shine. If the second is true, then William's behavior towards Margot might be hostile because he suffers from the strong desire to see the sun, but doubts he ever will. Consequently, William's poor attitude towards Margot infects the other children because they can relate to William more than they can with her. William's disbelief that the sun will shine is expressed in the following:

"'Well, don't' wait around here!' cried the boy savagely. 'You won't see nothing! . . . Nothing!' he cried. 'It was all a joke, wasn't it?' He turned to the other children. 'Nothing's happening today. Is it?'"

Margot humbly protests that the scientists know that the sun will shine. The other children, however, side with William savagely, as though they turn into a mob set against Margot. Once the other children agree with William, they are then easily manipulated to follow his suggestion to put Margot in the closet. It is sad, but people's minds are easily swayed when they are impassioned.

As a result, Margot becomes the victim of the children's prejudice against her, and she misses out on an hour in the sun. Therefore, a few lessons that can be learned from this story. First, it is easy for people to doubt someone's knowledge about something when they haven't experienced it themselves. Next, people like William can become jealous of others who know more or who have different experiences in life than they do. Finally, a group's mentality can be easily swayed when it is manipulated by emotions and pride. Unfortunately for Margot, she represents those who fall victim to the power of a group because she is different. Hopefully, people who read this story won't ever act rashly as part of a group's rage, and they will respect other people's beliefs even if they disagree.

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What is the main message for the story "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury?

The story "All Summer in a Day" is a futuristic story set on the planet Venus. Although "rocket men and women" from Earth have settled on Venus, they must live primarily underground because the climate is not suitable to be out of doors. Thunderstorms and rain are constant, except for about an hour once every seven years when the sun comes out and the rain stops. Margot, one of the schoolchildren, is the only one who remembers having seen the sun because she came to Venus from Earth when she was four. For this and other reasons, her classmates view her as "other" from them and tease and bully her. On the day of the predicted sun appearance, they force her into a closet so she misses the chance to run outside and play in the sunshine.

The primary message of the story is a study in bullying. Several factors work together in the story to create the bullying that steals something from Margot that can never be replaced. First, the children's teacher is negligent; she not only left them unsupervised, allowing the children to lock Margot up, but she also let her own excitement keep her from properly accounting for all the children under her charge. Second, one boy starts the teasing Margot and pushing her simply because she is different. Third, none of the children stand up to him; instead, they assent to his teasing. Fourth, all the children work as a mob, giving in to peer pressure, to push Margot into the closet. No one breaks ranks to take Margot's side. Fifth, the children get distracted by the excitement so that they forget about Margot when they all run outside. This shows the trajectory of bullying--how it escalates from simple teasing to causing a person real emotional harm. Bradbury uses an interesting setting--Venus--to showcase a problem that is ubiquitous in children on Earth, namely, bullying.

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What is the theme in "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury? Why?

"All Summer in a Day" is one of Ray Bradbury's most famous stories because it touches on the theme of cruelty toward those who are different.

One of the reasons why Bradbury's science fiction is so effective is that he takes these universal stories—in this case being cruel to Margot, a little girl who had experienced the sun on earth in her past—and moves them to another planet. This story, which takes place on a constantly raining Venus, is about a group of school children who have never experienced the warmth of the sun and, on this day, they get to experience it for the briefest of times. When Margot recounts what it was like to feel the sun, the other children become angry and jealous and shove her in a closet, where she misses the cloudless and rainless moments. At the end of the story, after the sun has disappeared until who knows when, the students feel guilty about what they did to Margot and let her out of the closet.

This is a sad story because readers can see themselves in the cruel school children. How often do we shun those who might act a little differently and then metaphorically shove them into closets so they can't participate? How often does this happen to us? How often, unlike Margot, do we keep our mouths shut because what we have to say is contrary to common thought? This is the theme of this story.

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What is the theme of Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"?

"All Summer In A Day" is a short story set in a school on Venus some time in the future. It always rains on Venus, and most of the children who live there have never seen the sun. However, the sun does make an appearance for two hours every seven years. The story is set around one of these appearances. One girl, Margot, has seen the sun before, because she is a more recent arrival to Venus than the other children. Margot is a sad, lonely girl, in part because she misses the sun and isn't used to the torrential, constant rain. She, of all the children, is especially looking forward to the sun's appearance, but the other children bully Margot and lock her in a cupboard so that she misses it. At the end of the story, having experienced the sunshine, they better understand why Margot is so sad all the time, and they all feel guilty for what they gave done.

The main themes in this story are perhaps tolerance and empathy. The children who bully Margot don't understand why she is so sad, and, because her sadness isolates her and makes her different from them, they develop a kind of mob mentality and persecute her because of her difference. Indeed, Bradbury writes, "she was different and they knew her difference and kept away."

The other children are also jealous of Margot, who they have heard might be soon returning to Earth, and so they "hate her waiting silence . . . and her possible future."

As Margot is locked in the cupboard the other children run around joyously in the sun, "turning their faces up to the sky and feeling the sun on their cheeks," and "suspended . . . in a blessed sea of no sound and no motion." They are ecstatic, until the rain begins to fall, and then, already missing the sun which they will not see for another seven years, they become sad, and their sadness is like Margot's sadness. Suddenly they understand Margot, and can empathize with her. They go to let her out of the cupboard, wracked with guilt, their "faces ... solemn and pale."

The guilt felt by the other children seems to signal a clear moral, namely that we should not judge or persecute those that we don't understand, but rather make more of an effort to at least tolerate and empathize with them.

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What is the theme of Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day"?

Ray Bradbury's wonderful short story about children living on Venus who are anticipating their first look at the sun explores the themes of friendship and loneliness. Margot is a newcomer to the colony on Venus, where it rains 365 days a year. The sun only comes out for one hour every seven years, and Margot is the only child in the class who has ever seen the sun, having spent her earlier years on Earth. The outcast of the class, Margot's classmates are jealous of her because she remembers the sunshine and because she may soon be returning to Earth. When they lock her in a closet, Margot misses the beauty of the one hour of sun. The children realize afterward that her descriptions of the sunshine were accurate, and they regret their decision to bar her from this rare event.

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