Character Development In Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes

972 words - 4 pages

A person’s life may be considered a seed since he at first seems miniscule; unlikely he will become anything desirable. However, when tended to properly, that seed will evolve into an exquisite being. Each seed has its own time span to sprout, different times to which it will evolve into a marvelous being. Each individual eventually grows, breaking open its shell. In Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, Charles Halloway exhibits this idea perfectly. Throughout the book, Halloway displays his germination.
In seed form, Charles Halloway is battling a 24/7 internal brawl he is losing. It is him against his aging self, the old man he believes he is. Halloway glares into the mirror, seeing a fifty-four year old man with “moon-white hair” and a “winter apple face” glaring back. He gazes at his alluring wife, so youthful looking he believes others think she is his daughter. He observes his son, Will, playing with his best pal, Jim. He envies his youth and energy. Watching him jump, run, and play makes him feel old. Sometimes, even Will has to remind himself that Halloway is “not grandfather, not far-wandering, ancient uncle, as some might think, but… my father.” (14)
Charles Halloway, a passive inactive seed, chooses not to grow. He resists the urge to flourish, to change and become the greater man he unknowingly could be. This becomes evident when Halloway, employed as a janitor at the library, is staring out the window and spots the boys. The time is three in the morning, yet he does not call out to them to so he can walk home with them. “ “Jim!” called the old man. “Will!” But not aloud. The boys went away toward home. Charles Halloway looked out into the country.” (54)
When words are spoken, they reveal what a person is thinking or how he feels. Such an example is when Halloway is at the saloon and hears about how Italians claimed that alcohol was the Elixir of Life. When the man inquires Halloway to have a drink, he replies, “I don’t need it. But someone inside me does.” “The boy I once was, thought Halloway, who runs like the leaves down the sidewalk autumn nights.” (19)
Actions help or hurt, but not performing actions keep you in a still life, a dark world— inside a shell. At three in the morning, Charles Halloway is awake, sitting in bed, thinking about his life, his age. His wife rouses, murmuring his name and asking if he is alright, though he does not answer her calls. He sits in deep thought, choosing not to talk, although communicating to her, telling her about how he feels, may have impacted the way he thinks. But he does not, and she falls asleep.
However, a person does change, and seeds...

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