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The Illustrated Man

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Introduction

GCSE English Coursework The Illustrated Man Ray Bradbury wrote The Illustrated Man in 1951. The general context of that time in the USA had a powerful impact on the themes he chose to base his book on. The Second World War had seen horrific crimes against humanity, dictatorship and a change in family life which was due to both the huge number of dead fathers and the great technological development. Women started working more and more in jobs previously seen as exclusively male and appliances such as the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner cleared more time for the typical housewife. Affected and inspired by these circumstances, Bradbury wrote his 18 different stories in the book, exploring family life, technology implications and politics from extreme points of view. The stories chosen here to be discussed in a comparative and contrasting manner are "The Veldt", "The Rocket", "Zero Hour", "The Fox and the Forest" and "The Other Foot". The main reason for choosing these is their outstanding figurative representation and artistic input. Family life takes a new turn, as Bradbury presents in "The Veldt", and it isn't positive. ...read more.

Middle

This seems amazing at first, but they end up wishing they could leave their perfect home behind and "start fresh" in a regular house, "You're beginning to feel unnecessary, too," says Lydia. Bradbury uses figures of speech to represent this, emphasizing on personification of dead objects "And although their beds tried very hard, the two adults couldn't be rocked to sleep for another hour," Also, it appears that children come to replace their parents with the nursery, "I wish you were dead!" "We were, for a long while," The father realises that he and his wife haven't spent enough time with their children, making them feel more attached to machinery, "That sounds dreadful! Would I have to tie my own shoes instead of letting the shoe tier do it?" The language Bradbury uses to describe the nursery is very effective. He uses the senses to emphasize the powerful reproduction of the African veldt, "The hot straw smell of lion grass, the cool green smell of the hidden water hole, the great rusty smell of animals, the smell of dust like a red paprika in the hot air," The simile "dust like a red paprika" and the repetition "smell" give a good impression of the veldt, the heat and the strong odours in the air. ...read more.

Conclusion

simile "A world [...] like a great black ship pulling away from [...] civilization," shows how the world has shrunk all its possibilities into a black vessel that no one can get out of. The world has lost all its spirit and joy, and all that remained was a continuous chain of destruction and manslaughter. This is a great way of representing dystopia. The political and social elements present in Bradbury's The Illustrated Man reflect warnings to humanity, a potential Third World War and its imminence. In "The Other Foot" there is a strong reference to the racism experienced by black people during the 20th century. "You remember how they hung my father on Knockwood Hill and shot my mother?" Despite this, the story ends in a positive tone, reflecting Bradbury's hope for the future, even in the event that most of it is destroyed. "Now everything's even. We can start all over again, on the same level," Bradbury's views of the future contrast on all levels, peace and war, wealth and poverty, good families and bad families. In his dark visions there is always a spark of light and in his most utopic views there is a pinch of evil. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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