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Ray Bradbury Essay

962 words - 4 pages

Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920 (Johnston). As a child, he had seen many different horror movies by age six. His aunt was also very influential by introducing him to the world of fantasy through the Oz books and L. Frank Baum. By the time he was ten years old, the great depression was being felt through out the US. In 1945 he took a 2 month long trip to Mexico to help "an artist friend to collect masks for the Los Angeles County Museum"(Wolfe). Bradbury was greatly influenced by the obsession with death within the Mexican culture. It was a combination of both the great depression and this trip to Mexico that helped to influence his rather morbid and cynical view of human nature.Ray Bradbury's writings were influenced by his trip to Mexico, the great depression, and other events in his childhood. The great depression helped to give his writings some of there darker qualities. His trip to Mexico also influenced this theme as well as his themes of alienation. This is best illustrated with the story "Homecoming", where a boy feels exiled from his family. Also during his twenties, World War two was going on and the idea of death and disintegration is very clear in "The Scythe".The theme of alienation is exemplified in the story "Homecoming". The story begins with a boy named Timothy who is born into a family of vampires. He is normal though, and so when guests start to arrive for the family reunion, he feels left out because he cannot fly or change shape like the others. He reveals this to his sister by saying "I want to do something at the party to make then look at me, something to make me good as them, something to make me belong, but there's nothing I can do and I feel funny and, well I thought you might..."(Bradbury, "Homecoming" 287). Later he thinks that he might have some special powers, he doesn't however, and is embarrassed in front of the whole family. This causes Timothy to run out of the house crying. His great uncle come out to find him and tells him that everyone is different and that " Life's worth the most to those who live the least of it. It's worth more per ounce"(Bradbury, "Homecoming" 289). Both of these quotes illustrate the feelings of alienation, rejection, and then acceptance. The theme of alienation also occurs in other stories too. "One of Bradbury's most consistent themes in this early fiction is that of alienation from technology, from a culture, even from the body itself and while this theme is most readily apparent in the stories dealing with Mexicans in America and Americans in Mexico, it permeates other stories in Dark Carnival on an even more fundamental level"(Wolfe).The...

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