Download Ray Bradbury Bloom Modern Critical Views PDF

TitleRay Bradbury Bloom Modern Critical Views
File Size1.5 MB
Total Pages168
Table of Contents
Editor's Note
Knight - When I Was in Kneepants: Ray Bradbury
Johnson - The Invasion Stories of Ray Bradbury
Bradbury - Dusk in the Robot Museums: The Rebirth of Imagination
Johnson - The Martian Chronicles and Other Mars Stories
Touponce - The Existential Fabulous: A Reading of Ray Bradbury's "The Golden Apples of the Sun"
Pierce - Ray Bradbury and the Gothic Tradition
Diskin - Bradbury on Children
Wolfe - The Frontier Myth in Ray Bradbury
Hoskinson - Ray Bradbury's Cold War Novels
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Edward Albee
Maya Angelou

Margaret Atwood
Jane Austen
James Baldwin
Samuel Beckett
Saul Bellow
The Bible
William Blake
Jorge Luis Borges
Ray Bradbury
The Brontës
Gwendolyn Brooks
Robert Browning
Italo Calvino
Albert Camus
Lewis Carroll
Willa Cather
Geoffrey Chaucer
Anton Chekhov
Kate Chopin
Agatha Christie
Samuel Taylor

Joseph Conrad
Contemporary Poets
Stephen Crane
Daniel Defoe
Charles Dickens
Emily Dickinson
John Donne and the


Fyodor Dostoevsky
W. E. B. DuBois
George Eliot
T. S. Eliot
Ralph Ellison
Ralph Waldo

William Faulkner
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sigmund Freud
Robert Frost
George Gordon,

Lord Byron
Graham Greene
Thomas Hardy

Ernest Hemingway

Langston Hughes
Zora Neale Hurston
Henrik Ibsen
John Irving
Henry James
James Joyce
Franz Kafka
John Keats
Jamaica Kincaid
Stephen King
Rudyard Kipling
D. H. Lawrence
Ursula K. Le Guin
Sinclair Lewis
Bernard Malamud
Christopher Marlowe
Gabriel García

Carson McCullers
Herman Melville
Arthur Miller
John Milton
Toni Morrison

Joyce Carol Oates
Flannery O’Connor
Eugene O’Neill
George Orwell
Sylvia Plath
Edgar Allan Poe
Katherine Anne

J. D. Salinger

Jean-Paul Sartre
William Shakespeare:

Histories and

William Shakespeare’s

William Shakespeare:
The Comedies

William Shakespeare:
The Tragedies

George Bernard

Mary Wollstonecraft

Percy Bysshe Shelley

John Steinbeck
Tom Stoppard
Jonathan Swift
Amy Tan
Alfred, Lord

Henry David

J. R. R. Tolkien
Leo Tolstoy
Mark Twain
John Updike
Kurt Vonnegut
Alice Walker
Robert Penn Warren
Eudora Welty
Edith Wharton
Walt Whitman
Oscar Wilde
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Wolfe
Tom Wolfe
Virginia Woolf
William Wordsworth
Richard Wright
William Butler Yeats

Modern Critical Views

Page 84


�The reason why grownups and kids �ght is because they belong to separate races.
Look at them, different from us. Look at us, different from them.� So writes
twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding in his first journal. It is a truth central
not only to the summer of 1928 in Dandelion Wine but to Ray Bradbury’s
general view of children. To trace the unfolding of this truth in his fiction, I
will focus on two novels, Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way
Comes, as well as several short stories.

Early in Dandelion Wine Tom Spaulding wonders why his older brother
wants to record “new crazy stuff ” in a “yellow nickel tablet.” Succinctly,
Douglas explains his reason for preserving his special observations:

“I’m alive.”
“Heck, that’s old!”
“Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don’t

watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you’re doing
and it’s the first time, really. . . .”

He goes on to say that his record is in two parts. The first is called “RITES
maybe ILLUMINATIONS, that’s a swell word, or INTUITIONS, okay?” These


Bradbury on Children

From Ray Bradbury. © 1980 by Martin Harry Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander.

Page 85


headings are more than felicitous keynotes for what will happen to and
around the boys during the summer; they suggest conditions of existence and
signify operations in the ethos of children—children as a different species.
For example, the boys in Bradbury’s two novels consecrate their friendship
with diversions, often secret, which grow into private systems of symbols.
Often in the form of ceremonies, these systems insulate them from the
restrictions and machinations of adults. The rituals and discoveries, together
with the revelations and illuminations, enable Bradbury’s children to cross
boundaries that separate reality and fantasy. They come and go from one
domain to the other, and often unite the two. If we grant that reality and
fantasy are cultures, then children have the idiopathic ability to cross
cultures. While this kind of traffic may be second nature to some adults, it is
first nature to children. In their passage between dimensions, the children in
Bradbury’s fiction, not always benignly and often intentionally, overstep
society’s norms. They sanction certain actions and behavior which they know
to be outlawed by society. Sometimes murder is the kind of freedom prac-
ticed by members of Bradbury’s separate race.

With libidinous joy, Bradbury’s boys share the events of human life
with the adults in their families and communities. But their sharing differs in
quality from that of their parents and townspeople. Their fix on the
phenomena comprising day-to-day existence is charged with meanings
which they construe from lore and legend, from myth and imagination. Re-
creation, in its most inventive sense, is their daily enterprise. At times, the
very air they breathe is compounded of wonder and magic, a potent elixir
that transforms even the seasons of the year—summer in the case of Dande-
lion Wine and autumn in Something Wicked This Way Comes. For them, being
alive means perceiving phenomena with an openness and acceptance by
which natural processes are transmuted and turn miraculous or portentous.
They rambunctiously perpetuate the freedom of childhood. Even when they
behave maliciously, they are obeying their own credo, their own laws, which
decree that they resist the inexorable transformation they will undergo when
they migrate to adulthood. Their most outrageous actions are instinctive
ploys against the inevitable doomsday of exile from childhood. Thus, in both
books, the boys live at the quick of life, marauding each moment. They are
afire with ecstatic temporality, resplendent immediacy.

Douglas and Tom Spaulding—along with their friends, John Huff and
Charlie Woodman, in Dandelion Wine—live in a different zone, or season, of
boyhood from that inhabited by James Nightshade and William Halloway in
Something Wicked This Way Comes. Nevertheless, they share their origins as
members of a separate race. In the truest sense of their attributes, they are
creatures of a world, a secondary state, both within and beyond the planet

Page 167


“One Who Waits, The,” 37
as invasion story, 17–18

“On Life” (Shelley), 78
Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 134–35, 136,

“Other Foot, The,” 37

frontier myth in, 120
“Oval Portrait, The” (Poe), 59

Peck, John Mason, 118
“Pedestrian, The,” 43
“Perhaps We Are Going Away,” 34,

as invasion story, 16

Peter Pan (Barrie), 99
Pierce, Hazel, 55–74
“Pillar of Fire,” 35, 37
“Pit and the Pendulum, The” (Poe),

Poe, Edgar Allan, 40, 58, 59, 60,

61–62, 64, 65, 69, 120, 128
“Powerhouse,” as moralistic tale, 6
Prometheus myth, “The Golden

Apples of the Sun” and, 1, 44–45,
46, 47–48, 51–52, 53

Rabkin, Eric, 40, 44
Radcliffe, Anne, 57–58, 60
Rancor, 6
“Ray Bradbury and the Gothic Tradi-

tion” (Pierce), 55–74
Ray Bradbury’s Cold War Novels”

(Hoskinson), 125–39
Reverie, “The Golden Apples of the

Sun” and, 41–44, 45, 46–47, 48,
49–50, 51, 52, 53

Rhodes, Richard, 130
“Rocket Summer,” 33, 34
Ruskin, John, 56, 73, 74

Salinger, J. D., 7
Schiaparelli, Giovanni Virginio, 30
Science fiction

aim of, 5
as imagination returning to literature,

Serviss, Garrett P., 106
“Settlers, The,” Cold War and, 128
Shakespeare, William, 47
Shelley, Mary, 61
Shelley, Percey Bysshe, 78
“Silent Towns, The,” 38
Similes/metaphors. See Figurative

Sisario, Peter, 136
“Skeleton,” 7–8, 59
“Small Assassin, The,” children in, 91,

Smith, Henry Nash, 112, 122
Something Wicked This Way Comes, 34,

children in, 75, 76, 78, 79, 91–97
Gothic in, 65–71, 73–74
as invasion story, 14–16

“Sound of Thunder, The,” frontier
myth in, 107

Space Frontiers, The (Vernon), 106
Steinbeck, John, 47
Stephens, James, 47
Stones of Venice, The (Ruskin), 56
“Strawberry Window, The,” 37
“Summer Night, The,” 34

as invasion story, 16–17
Surrealism, 40
Suvin, Darko, 40, 109

Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque
(Poe), 59

“Taxpayer, The,” 34
Cold War and, 130

Page 168

Index 159

Technology, frontier and, 107–9, 121
See also Machines

“There Was an Old Woman,” Gothic
in, 65

“There Will Come Soft Rains”
Cold War and, 131–32, 133
machines in, 36–37

“Third Expedition, The,” 33, 34
frontier myth in, 113, 116
metamorphosis in, 36

“Thou Art the Man” (Poe), 59
Tomorrow, the Stars (Heinlein), 106
“To the Public” (Brown), 58–59
“Touched with Fire,” Gothic in, 63
Touponce, William F., 1, 39–54, 127,

Turner, Frederick Jackson, 105,

110–12, 116, 117–18, 119–21, 122

“Usher II,” 35, 37
Cold War and, 128, 137–38
frontier myth in, 109, 118, 120

“Veldt, The”
children in, 91, 97, 98–99
frontier myth in, 107
similes/metaphors in, 5

Vernon, Roger Lee, 106
“Visitor, The,” 37
Walpole, Horace, 56–57, 59, 60, 61, 62
War of the Worlds, The (Wells), 9, 10,

21, 106
“Watchers, The,” Cold War and, 131
Watt, Donald, 129, 133, 138
“Way in the Middle of the Air,” 35, 37

frontier myth in, 107, 120
as moralistic tale, 6

Webb, Walter Prescott, 111
Welles, Orson, 10
Wells, H. G., 9, 10, 21, 106, 107
“When I Was in Kneepants: Ray Brad-

bury” (Knight), 3–8
“Wilderness, The,” 37

frontier myth in, 118–19
“Wing, The,” Gothic in, 63
Wolfe, Gary K., 103–23, 130
Wollheim, Donald, 106, 107

Yeats, William Butler, 47
“Ylla,” 33, 34

frontier myth in, 103–4

“Zero Hour,” as invasion story, 9,
10–11, 12–13

Similer Documents