The Theme of Jealousy in All Summer in a Day, a Story by Ray Bradbury
Imagine that you had something, something that was always there when you awoke, that you saw and lived with every day. But suddenly, it is gone, taken away, and replaced with something horribly different. You would probably feel like Margot, a character in Ray Bradbury’s dystopian short story, “All Summer in a Day”. Margot is a girl who has come from Earth to a civilization built on Venus, and Venus does not have a sun like Earth does. Surrounded by children who have never seen the sun, Margot feels lonely and depressed, and the children hate her, mostly because they are jealous. I think that an important theme in this story is that jealousy can be dangerous and can hurt people. On Venus, the sun is hidden behind a continuous downpour, and is only visible for one hour every seven years. While her class is waiting for that moment, Margot stands apart from the others, because she knows that they are jealous of her. They knew that “She had come [there] only five years ago from Earth, and she remembered the sun…” They are mad that she had something that they never did, and when she talks about the sun, they are jealous and angry. Furthermore, they are even more jealous of the fact that she might be going back to Earth with her parents soon. As a result of all of this, the other children push her into a closet before the teacher arrives.
“They surged around her, caught her up and [took] her [To] a closet, where they slammed and locked the door”. The children are happy and not even a little guilty about what they have done. However, when the children get back to the room, the sun comes out, and they all run and play until the rain starts again and the sun is gone. It is not until they are back inside that they remember. “Margot!” They cry. “She’s still in the closet where we locked her.” Due to their extreme jealousy and hate, they have taken away the only thing that had connected Margot to her homeland. For seven years, the sun is gone, and she never saw it. Even though her classmates feel guilty now, they cannot take back what they did. To sum up, there are many points to suggest that a possible theme in “All Summer in a Day” is that jealousy can be dangerous and hurt people, like Margot. Jealousy affected her classmates, because they could not admit that she knew what the sun was and they did not. At the end of the story, the students let Margot out, and the author does not proceed to tell us what happened. I can only imagine that Margot must feel even worse than before, and I would hope that her classmates do too. I wonder if, now that there is nothing that Margot knows that they don’t, the children will not be jealous and be nice to her. Could she possibly make some friends and learn to live on Venus? Or, will she finally get to travel back to Earth and the sun and never see Venus again?