The Elements Of Fantasy And Horror

1591 words - 6 pages

The elements of fantasy and horror blend together perfectly to create an unforgettable series of events. An example of dark fantasy is Something Wicked This Way Comes, the novel by Ray Bradbury that tells the story of two young boys, Jim and Will, who discover the secret of a mysterious traveling carnival. The magical carnival has many temptations, including a frightening mirror maze and a carousel that changes one’s age. However, its allure only causes one to fall into the clutches of the ringmaster, Mr. Dark, an illustrated man who tattoos each person bound to the carnival in servitude onto his skin. Along with Will’s father Charles, the boys set out to investigate and destroy the soul-sucking attraction. They eventually defeat the carnival through love and happiness; during this time, Charles also comes to the extraordinary realization to not take life too seriously. Ray Bradbury’s symbols in the novel Something Wicked This Way Comes define and emphasize the theme life endures through constant struggle between good and evil. Jim and Will, Charles, and the carnival attractions demonstrate the theme in Bradbury’s novel and bring it to life. The literary elements Ray Bradbury incorporates in Something Wicked This Way Comes plays an essential role in shaping the main idea of the novel.
Jim and Will represent symbols that greatly help unravel the theme in Something Wicked This Way Comes. In the first place, they illustrate symbols of good and evil, with Jim as the darker of the two and Will as the lighter. Charles can see that this appears obvious, and he points it out to the kids. He states, “[Jim] wears the black ten-gallon hats and reads books to fit. Middle name’s Moriarty, right, Jim? Any day now he’ll move up from Fu Manchu to Machiavelli here” (15). The black hat is an allusion to a villain, especially in a western movie where a character would wear a black hat to contrast the protagonist’s white hat. Moriarty, Fu Manchu, and Machiavelli exemplify famous archenemies, criminals, and scoundrels throughout history. This clearly shows that Jim harbors the evil half. Charles can also see that Will has a personality that contrasts Jim’s. He tells his son, “that leaves the white-hat boys to you, Will. Here’s Gandhi. Next door is St. Thomas. And on the next level, well…Buddha” (15). The white hat infers a hero, also relevant in a western movie. Gandhi, St. Thomas, and Buddha represent peaceful world leaders and wholeheartedly respectable people. Charles noticeably suggests that Jim symbolizes evil and Will symbolizes good. Concurrently, Jim and Will, or light and dark, represent figures that struggle against each other throughout the book, defining the theme. Good and evil fighting each other is prevalent in everyday life, and Something Wicked This Way Comes demonstrates that theme using symbolism. In one instance, Will struggles to get Jim off the carousel, and a part of Jim wishes to remain on while another part of him wants to do as Will says....

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