“All Summer in a Day” is a short story written by Ray Bradbury, where the characters live on the sunless planet Venus, where it rains all day, every day. The sun only comes around every seven years, and Margot, the main character seems to be the only one who vividly remembers the sun. Her remembrance is due to the fact that she had left Earth only five years prior, while the rest of the kids in her class had lived their entire lives on Venus, and were only toddlers when the Sun had presented itself last, so it was not a core memory for them, only a dream.

Bradbury portrays the viewing of the sun as an exciting moment and indicates that the lack of sun, and also the lack of warmth from her classmates made Margot physically and mentally reflect the weather outside. As Bradbury writes, “Margot stood alone. She was a very frail 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” (Bradbury, 1 & 2). This excitement makes sense as the story was released in 1954, which is during a period of our history when exploring space was gaining quick traction, and the U.S. and the Soviet Union were trying to beat each other to space.

Despite the nay-sayers, Margot holds on to her memories of the sun, and she truly believes the sun will appear. However, the other children, who don’t remember, bully her for her hope, “’ Oh, but,’ Margot whispered, her eyes helpless. ‘But this is the day, the scientists predict, they say, they know, the sun…’ ‘All a joke! Said the boy, and seized her roughly. ‘Hey everyone, let’s put her in a closet before the teacher comes!’” (Bradbury 2). They refuse to believe Margot or the Scientists, and out of cruelty shove her into a closet. Eventually, the sun does shine, and the children witness fully witness it, except, and when the rain returns they realize with guilt that Margot was right and that they had barred her from experiencing it all.

There is some commentary on the fact that the characters are children, and one could argue that both countries were acting like children as they were trying to exploit many resources and relationships to “win”. More deeply though the text reflects how relationships can be strained when one human nature is threatened or deprived of something. Further, while it reflects on the history of its time, it can be viewed as a reflection of our current climate crisis, as the weather is constantly changing, and the way some choose to blatantly ignore or refuse to believe the evidence of the crisis. While “All Summer in a Day,” is linked to events occurring around 1954, it is a story that reflects current events, and the ever-complicated tale of human understanding, and interaction. So, while “All Summer in a Day” is a timely piece, it is also a reoccurring one of our society.

 

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