An Analysis of Ray Bradbury’s Work
Ray Bradbury does an excellent job of making his literature both interesting and fascinating to read. This makes him a great American author. He wrote a novel, The Illustrated Man, which is filled with details about futuristic events. An effect on the outcome of the way this piece of literature was the time it was written. The time period was revealed through the use of characterization, and setting. Throughout the novel, Bradbury uses the literary elements simile and theme to get his point across.
At the time this was written, World War II was happening. Prior to the 1940s, the United States for the last decade was in a depression and remained isolated from other nations. The United States was sucked into the war when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The Great Depression had an overwhelmingly negative effect on the economy, and as a result of the war “Unemployment almost disappeared because the men were at war, and the women and blacks were allowed to fill the open positions” (American Cultural History the Twentieth Century 2). During this time in age, the Holocaust was taking place. The military provided for a GI bill, which in turn gave more men college educations. “In 1949, three times as many college degrees were conferred as in 1940. College became available to the capable rather than the privileged few” (American Cultural History the Twentieth Century 3). The baby boom was a result of the returning soldiers. Computers were in their early stages of development in the forties. ENIAC was a digital computer that was completed in 1945. The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war. Another aspect of the forties was the use of the radio. This was the main focus for music and entertainment as well as for news updates. When the war had finished, 5,000 Americans had television sets in their homes. The biggest influence on America in the forties was the war.
Ray Bradbury began by talking about the Illustrated Man and how he could not hold jobs anywhere. This was due to the fact that the Illustrated Man was filled with tattoos that had violent depictions and his tattoos also predicted the future. This Illustrated Man was upset about his illustrations and he tried every way possible “…Paper, acid, a knife…” (Bradbury 3) to remove them. He mentioned an old lady in Wisconsin did them and that if he ever saw her again he would kill her. This old lady he spoke of placed futuristic events all over his body. The narrator watches the Illustrated Man’s portrayal of these events while he is sleeping. “Each illustration is a little story. If you watch them, in a few minutes they will tell you a tale. In three hours of looking, you could see eighteen or twenty stories acted on my body, you could here voices and think thoughts” (Bradbury 3). Many of the tales were about space and planets such as Venus, Mars and Jupiter. It seemed as if in every story...