All Summer in a Day Cover Image

All Summer in a Day

by Ray Bradbury

Start Free Trial

Student Question

What are some fantastical elements in "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury, excluding life on Venus?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The children’s living on Venus is a fantastical element, because we do not know much about Venus but we do not believe at this time that it can sustain human life.  In this story, not only do the people live on Venus, but it rains all of the time there.  The idea of it raining on a planet for seven years is a fantastical element.  Venus is a version of Earth, but Bradbury wants to make it seem bizarre.  He uses Venus instead of Earth because it could not rain for seven years straight on Earth.

Besides the idea of Earth-like rain for so long on Venus, another fantastical element is the ease of going back and forth between Venus and Earth.  We currently do not have the technology to travel easily to a planet so far away.  If we did, it would take a very long time to get there.  Bradbury implies that Margot and her family might go back to Earth.  It is an expensive proposition, but not an impossible one.

There was talk that her father and mother were taking her back to Earth next year; it seemed vital to her that they do so, though it would mean the loss of thousands of dollars to her family. And so, the children hated her for all these reasons of big and little consequence.

It is apparently inexpensive enough in this story that the family will only lose a few thousand dollars for leaving Venus and going back to Earth.  It takes billions, not thousands, of dollars to travel in space for us now.  Such inexpensive space travel is science fiction and fantastical.

There is a non-science fiction fantastical element too.  The story’s actions only work because the teacher seems to be largely absent.  This is not realistic, because in most cases people do not leave groups of nine year olds alone for long periods of time.  In this story, not only does the teacher seem barely aware of the bullying and conflict in the group of children, but she also leaves them alone long enough for them to lock Margot in the closet.  I find it unlikely that on a day as important as this, when the sun is finally coming out, the teacher would leave the children alone and not notice one is missing for the whole time the sun comes out.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial