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To what extent does Ray Bradbury allow us to feel a mixture of horror and sympathy towards the T-rex?

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To what extent does Ray Bradbury allow us to feel a mixture of horror and sympathy towards the T-rex? "A sound of thunder" is a science-fiction story by Ray Bradbury. It is set in the future at "Time Safaris Inc.". Time safaris Inc. are a company which allows serious hunters to live their dream: to travel back in time and shoot a live dinosaur. This story focuses on one hunting party's encounter with a T-rex, during which Bradbury uses various techniques to make us feel both horror and sympathy simultaneously. I will now look in detail at the way Bradbury depicts the T-rex. Bradbury begins by entering the dinosaur on "great oiled, resilient, striding legs", which gives the impression of power, of the dinosaur being able to withstand anything. The word "great" helps give an impression of size, and you can really imagine the "oily", shimmering scales. "Striding" makes you imagine huge, clawed feet gliding over the ground: you can almost picture the immense mass of oily scales and claws. ...read more.


The verb "coiled", is an unusual choice as it is used to describe coils, concentric rings, making it sound as though the dinosaur has layers of fat round it's neck, encrusted with scales. This stops us feeling so much sympathy for the dinosaur, and makes it sound a bit ugly. The description of the head as "a ton of sculptured stone, lifted easily upon the sky" is a very effective metaphor as stone is amazingly strong, and can withstand almost any thing, emphasising once again the indestructibility of the dinosaur. Describing it as "a ton" shows us just how heavy it is, and how strong the dinosaur must be to lift it, as well as giving us an impression of the sort of size it must be.. Telling us how it was "lifted easily upon the sky" shows us how the monster lifts his head to the sky with almost no effort, showing how strong he is. At this point you almost admire the great beast, wonder why anyone would want to kill it... ...read more.


This choice of adverb combined with the metaphor makes the dinosaur sound shy, as though it doesn't want to be in the spotlight, as though, perhaps, it knew it was being watched. It makes it sound as though, maybe, it is a bit scared, nervous- contrasting the earlier description which made us think of the dinosaur as cruel and unfeeling- as though it were scared of what might happen to it if it edged into the light. It really helps you to feel sympathy and perhaps even pity for the dinosaur. He then describes how the dinosaur's hands are "beautifully reptile", once again beautifying the dinosaur and making us wonder why anyone would want to harm it. To finish his exquisite description, Bradbury tells us how, when the dinosaur exhaled, "the stink of raw flesh blew down the wilderness". This is a final reminder of how this beast eats meat, and would happily munch up one of us any day. Describing how it "blew down the wilderness" gives a last impression of the immense power within the dinosaur, its breath strong as a wind, blowing back trees and plants. This phrase turns the dinosaur into a terrible monster for one, last time. ...read more.

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