Literary Analysis
by Pearl Z.
Grade 7

One may believe that bullies feel no shame for their wicked actions, from taunting in the hallways to physical violence; yet underneath that wicked smirk is a fragile being who feels surprisingly deep guilt about what he or she is doing. The bullies in the story “All Summer in a Day” undergo the same emotions as mentioned above. They mock Margot, the main character, because they are jealous and fear her. Margot used to live on Earth and remembers the sun, unlike her peers, who can only recall the long seven years of rain on Venus. So, overcome with their envy, they lock Margot in a closet while the sun comes out for the first time in seven years. Afterwards, the children, ashamed of their actions, finally realize what they have done. To demonstrate the consequences of bullying, the author Ray Bradbury utilizes dialogue and figurative language in “All Summer in a Day”.

Throughout the story, the author uses dialogue to express the characters’ contrasting feelings. In the beginning, the bullies are blinded by their jealousy and one of them even proclaims “‘Hey, everyone, let’s put her in a closet before the teacher comes!’” Clearly, their fear possessed them to a point in which it was starting to cause conflict, and enough to deprive the victim Margot of her opportunity to see the sun for the first time in five years. However, as the story progresses, one of the children who assisted in the bullying “...gave a little cry. ‘Margot!’ ‘What?’ ‘She’s still in the closet where we locked her’” The kids had finally perceived the wickedness of what they had done and felt awful. Eventually, they decided to try to make amends with Margot, and let her out of the closet. Their guilt is what prods them to try to repair the damage they caused, and it was the guilt that was gnawing at their consciences.

Furthermore, Ray Bradbury uses figurative language such as similes and imagery to convey the remorse of the characters. In the text it states “They stood as if someone had driven them, like so many stakes, into the floor. They looked at each other and then looked away.” It is evident that this simile is used to describe how low in spirits the children are feeling. Another example from the story uses imagery to describe the appearance of the characters. “Their faces were solemn and pale. They looked at their hands and feet, their faces down.” Often times pallor is a sign of some burdensome baggage weighing a person down.

Although there are a multitude of ways to show a character’s inner thoughts, Ray Bradbury chooses to use figurative language and dialogue to do this in “All Summer in a Day”. This story also seems to say that bullying not only harms others, but also the bully his or her self.