What tools does Bradbury use to create meaning? That is the question on our minds while reading his stories. Bradbury uses many tools to engage the reader into the story. The usage of tools such as personification, imagery, metaphors, and allusions add to his message that he portrays in his multiple stories. The message to be aware of the consequences technology can bring to this world. The first tool that is found readily in Bradbury’s stories is personification. In the story, There Will Come Soft Rains, the use of personification is to build up the story due to the lack of characters in the story.
In particular, the whole house from There Will Come Soft Rain is personified throughout the story to show off the message that the inhabitants of the house relied on this house for everything they needed. Some specific examples of personification found in There Will Come Soft Rains are, “In the kitchen the breakfast stove gave a hissing sigh and ejected from its warm interior eight pieces of perfectly browned toast, eight eggs sunny side up, sixteen slices of bacon, two coffees, and two cool glasses of milk. ” (“There Will Come Soft Rain”) as well as, “Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.
The rooms were a crawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal. They thudded against chairs, whirling their mustached runners, kneading the rug nap, sucking gently at hidden dust. Then, like mysterious invaders, they popped into their burrows. Their pink electric eyes faded. The house was clean. ” (“There Will Come Soft Rain”). These quotes are just parts of the story that help portray the house as almost human like due to its technological capabilities. He uses it to show the message that technology has advanced so much it is doing what humans should do which makes overuse the technology making s reliant on the machine.
Similar to the previous use of personification, The Veldt use the tool to humanize the house and show also how the humans were very reliant on it. The biggest example of personification which also sped up the plot as well as the reason for the veldt is, “They walked down the hall of their soundproofed Happylife Home, which had cost them thirty thousand dollars installed, this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them. (“The Veldt”)
Lastly, a small-scale use of personification to describe the sound of dinosaur footsteps is “The thunder roared at me. The thunder grumbled like an old man. ” (“A Sound of Thunder”) This adds to the ominous presence of the creature to the travelers. This use of personification allows us to see the hold that advanced technology has over us which could make us lazy and unproductive or even try to or some cases get us killed. One of Bradbury’s strongest tools he uses is his use of imagery. His imagery is what captivates the readers as well as allows them to experience the world for themselves.
In The Pedestrian, there is one character throughout most of the story until the end when an officer comes in. To make sure the story has interest from the reader he use descriptive language to experience the sadness and loneliness that Leonard Mead experiences. The chilling, and seemingly real descriptions include, “To enter out into that silence that was the city at eight o’clock of a misty evening in November, to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pockets, through silences. (“The Pedestrian”) and, “He put his hand to the door and peered into the back seat, which was a little cell, a little black jail with bars. It smelled of riveted steel.
It smelled of harsh antiseptic; it smelled clean and hard and metallic. ” (“The Pedestrian”). This use allows to take a peek into the brain of Leonard Mead and how he feels about the world as well as how to the world views him. Another major use of imagery is in The Veldt. The main plot point was the nursery and its ability to transform o places.
He wants us to see what George and Lydia see when they discover the horror that is the veldt. To capture the terrifying presence of the lion he used this line, “You could feel the prickling fur on your hand, and your mouth was stuffed with the dusty upholstery smell of their heated pelts, and the yellow of them was in your eyes like the yellow of an exquisite French tapestry, the yellows of lions and summer grass, and the sound of the matted lion lungs exhaling e silent noontide, and the smell of meat from the panting, dripping mouths. ” (“The Veldt”).
Similar to the use of the imagery in The Veldt, he uses personification as well as all of the sense to capture the presence of the dinosaur in A Sound of Thunder. His description of the dinosaur gives a lot of people chills like we were there, “It came on great oiled, resilient, striding legs. It towered thirty feet above half of the trees, a great evil god, folding its delicate watchmaker’s claws close to its oily reptilian chest. Each lower leg was a piston, a thousand pounds of white bone, sunk in thick ropes of muscle, sheathed over in a gleam of pebbled skin like the mail of a terrible warrior.
Each thigh was a ton of meat, ivory, and steel mesh. ” (“A Sound of Thunder”). This showcases his large size and his large body that could easily killed them. Bradbury’s imagery brings us to a place where our emotions are turned and flipped around to the point we feel we are there. A quote from Ray Bradbury that centers around is love for using metaphors is a great start point for his reasoning as to why he uses them. “I was born a collector of metaphors,” he says. First, one metaphor that he used to add to his message in The Pedestrian that technology has restricted the element of creativity that the world has.
Leonard was sent, “To the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies. ” (“The Pedestrian”) which is a message that readers can interpret into a message of individuality and the importance of having that uniqueness. The next metaphor adds to the previous reasoning behind the imagery which was to capture the ominous presence of the dinosaur, “A sound of thunder. ” (“A Sound of Thunder”) He also added it into the end to represent a gunshot and a possible death of a character.
The last significant metaphor, “The house was an altar with ten thousand attendants, big, small, servicing, attending, in choirs. But the gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly. ” (“There Will Come Soft Rains”) talks about the humans and how they worship their house. The used it for everything, and now that they are gone the house is still running without them. The use of this metaphors contributed to the overall picture of how technology runs our lives. There are two major and significant allusions include in his short stories.
The first allusion is actually where he pulled the name for his title “There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,” additionally using this line to add to the meaning and add foreshadowing of the story, “Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn would scarcely know that we were gone. “(“There Will Come Soft Rains”) The poem, besides the title, adds the element of comparison to these situations which is that good things which in this case is technology and that bad situations can come from, for example, a fire.
The most creative allusion is his use of Peter and Wendy in A Sound of Thunder. This alludes to the story of Peter Pan and his journey with Wendy to Neverland. He uses this allusions to emphasis the distance between the kids and their parents just like Peter Pan. The nursery, like Neverland, is an escape to another world to forget about their troubles at home. These allusions altogether build on the message of the story in which they are included. They show how technology can separate us from reality and that we can lose precious lives or scar young minds into a mental state of lunacy.
In conclusion, Bradbury’s use of tools does help create meaning. The creativity he uses to allude to the overall meaning of the story is incredible. He never outright says what the story means, but he still provides us with the knowledge and allows use to think for our self and to create meaning that relates to us as a person. The pieces of each tool stated as well as the tools not stated are individual puzzle pieces that come together to create a bigger picture. Then with those puzzles creates his entire meaning which is to be weary of technology. Fear not the future but fear the effects of the decisions we make as a people in the future.