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Ray Bradbury’s short story, “All summer in a day”, revolves around quite a unique plot. It talks about a group of school children living on the planet Venus. According to the writer’s words, a group of rocket carrying men and women had gone to Venus to set up civilization and settled there.
The children in the school mentioned in the story haven’t seen the sun in the past seven years and all this time, they just endured the rain daily. So one day, according to the scientists, the sun is expected to come out and the story revolves around that one day when the sun finally comes out.
The story started with a group of children with their families living on the planet Venus. All the nine-year old children were eagerly waiting for one special event that is the viewing of the sun. The sun came out on Venus every seven years and in all those seven years, there had been nothing but continuous and regular rain.
Finally, if the scientists’ prediction proved correct, the sun was destined to come out that day. None of the kids apart from Margot, who had moved to Venus from Earth five years ago, remembered the sun properly as they all had been mere two years old. Margot remembered the sun distinctly, opposing to what the others believe the sun to actually be.
Margot remained aloof and depressed for being away from home and never fitting in. However the news of the Sun coming out not only excited the children but also Margot. She was very eager to see the sun, to feel the warmth of the sun. But some mischievous classmates of her began to taunt her saying what the scientists had said was fake and soon they locked her in a cupboard.
But the scientists were not wrong. For very soon, the rain stopped and from behind the clouds, out came the bright sun surrounded by the blue sky. The kids shouted out excitedly and all rushed out to play and laugh under the sun. As they were enjoying, one girl suddenly screamed and pointed in her outstretched hand a big raindrop. All the children looked up at the sky just in time to see the sun disappear. The rain again started falling and they all rushed inside.
As the enter the hallway, one student suddenly remembered Margot being locked away in the cupboard, deprived of having seen the sun. They were all ashamed of the horrible trick that they played upon her. All the students felt bad and no one wanted to approach her. Very slowly they moved towards the cupboard and even more slowly they opened the door, letting Margot out.
When the Sun Came Out
One day it finally stopped raining on Venus. The whole ground came to a standstill as if, in the midst of a film concerning an avalanche, a tornado, a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, something had gone wrong. The silence felt by everyone was immense and unbelievable. Then the door slid back and they all finally saw the sun. It was the color of flaming bronze and it was very large. The sky around it was a blazing blue tile color. The children rushed out, yelling into the springtime. They were all busy running, turning their faces up to the sky and feeling the sun on their cheeks like a warm iron. The children all agreed that it was much better than the artificial sun lamps. The entire jungle that covered Venus was soon filled with children, all laughing and enjoying the sun. The children lay out, laughing, on the jungle mattress and heard it sigh and squeal under them resilient and alive. The children ran among the trees, they played hide and seek and tag, but mostly they kept on looking at the sun. They listened to, looked at and savored everything. Like wild animals, they ran underneath the sun. After seven years of continuous rain, the sun felt like a fresh release to them and they din’t want to miss a single moment of it. The fresh air amidst all the yellow-ness and blueness was like a breath of freedom and happiness for the children.
Margot, a nine year old girl, was very different from the others. She could feel and understand what the others were undergoing. Sometimes, at night, she heard them stir, in remembrance, and she knew they were dreaming and remembering gold or a yellow crayon or a coin large enough to buy the world with. She was also quite good with words.
When they were asked in class to write small poems or stories about the sun, she wrote I think the sun is a flower, That blooms for just one hour. Her fellow classmates had a hard time believing whether it was really her who wrote it. Margot was a very fragile girl who looked as if she had been lost in the rain for years and the rain had washed out the blue from her eyes and the red from her mouth and the yellow from her hair.
She was an old photograph dusted from an album, whitened away, and if she spoke at all her voice would be a ghost. She stood away from all the students and in turn, no would play games with her or even talk to her anymore. She played no games with them also. She barely did what the others found joy in.
When the class sang songs about happiness and life and games her lips barely moved. Only when they sang about the sun and the summer did her lips move. Maybe she was different because she was finding it hard to adjust in Venus. According to her, her biggest crime was to move from Earth, five years ago, where she used to live and play under the sun. In this new life, she barely fitted in.
Unlike the other kids on Venus who had seen the sun last when they were only two years old, Margot lived under the sun in Ohio for years. That was her home. The Sun was her solace and now she was deprived of all that. Her parents were finally taking her back to the Earth next year which everyone thought vital, even if it meant loss of thousands of dollars to the family.
The children playing the trick on her and locking her in the cupboard showed how lonesome and unhappy she was in Venus. She didn’t want to fit in either. She just wanted to be back to her home, under the Sun like she was before.
At the end, the children who were all skeptical (doubtful) and critical of Margot begin to to arrive at an understanding of how she feels since she left her home, Earth. They all had one hour under the Sun and at the end of it, still felt dejected and sad. Margot had been feeling the same thing since day one on Venus.
The horrible trick which they played on her by locking her in the cupboard when all she wanted was to the see the Sun after many years. The children were ashamed of what the have done to Margot as it would be another seven years before the Sun comes out again.