Essay On The Setting Of Ray Bradburry's Short Stories

1192 words - 5 pages

In Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains", "The Veldt" and "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" the reader is introduced to three distinct settings. In these three short stories, Bradbury paints a vivid picture of the future through the setting and also establishes and utterly normal atmosphere. In some stories the setting serves as a mere backdrop for the action, a place were the characters speak and move. In others, the setting forces characters to act spontaneously and unpredictably."There will come soft rains" is a depressing story about a house. This house is totally controlled by computer; it cooks meals, reads poetry, landscapes, etc... The strange element the reader notices ...view middle of the document...

In this nursery, whatever the children think appears on the walls. They even mimic the smell, sounds, and weather of the location. "Now the hidden odor phonics were beginning to blow a wind of odor at the two people in the middle of the baked veldt land. The hot straw smell of lion grass, the cool green smell of the hidden water hole, the great rusty smell of animals, the smell of dust like a red paprika in the hot air. And now the sounds: the thump of distant antelope feet on grassy sod, the papery rustling of vultures". During this story the walls project images of an African safari.Mr. Hadely is noticing that his kids are obsessively playing in the nursery. And more so, the same pictures are always on the walls, a desert. Mr. Hadley confronts his son and questions him on thoughts behind the images but Peter never gives him a straight answer. Every minute of the day Wendy and Peter are off in the nursery. Technology has replaced loving parents. This bothers Mr. Hadely terribly and he threatens to destroy the nursery. One day Peter invites his father to join him in the nursery. Mr. Hadely enters and sees a vicious lion. Peter runs out and locks the door on Mr. Hadely to die. All along the children have been using the nursery to harness hatred to their father. These are examples of how the setting can directly impact a characters moods and actions.The atmosphere of "The fruit at the bottom of the bowl" is entirely different than the previous stories. It transpires in a large house within a small city. William Acton has just murdered Huxley, a business associate. Acton is not accustomed to these doings and he didn't remember were he left his finger tips. Its twelve midnight when he starts wiping the home. At first Acton assumes that he touched only furniture in the living room. Later he becomes neurotic with his swabbing in places he obviously had not gone; like the closet and the wine cellar. Acton is especially fixated with a bowl of wooden fruit on the coffee table. He wipes it but hallucinates himself touching it over and over again. Now its morning and the cops find Acton in the attic. The setting of "The fruit...

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