All Summer in a Day Summary by Ray Bradbury
All Summer in a Day Summary About the Author
Ray Bradbury (22 August 1920 – 5 June 2012), was an American science fiction writer who works were translated in more than 4L languages. His works created a world of new technical and intellectual ideas. He is best known for his dystopian novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (1953) and short story collections ‘The Martian Chronicles’, and ‘The Illustrated Man’. ‘All Summer in a Da/ a short story, was first published in 1954 in the magazine of fantasy and science fiction.
All Summer in a Day Summary
The concept of the story ‘All Summer in a Day’, is built on Venus – a planet where it rains continuously, all the time. The people live in underground tunnels to escape the cold hard rain. The story begins with school children crowding around a window in their classroom, waiting for the heavy rain to stop and for a rare occurrence i.e., the sun, to come out for an hour after seven years of non-stop rain, as per prediction. They had seen the sun only when they were two years old.
Margot is a nine year old girl whose family moved from Earth to Venus when she was four. Only she remembers the warmth of the sun and how beautiful the sunshine can be. She explains to other children that sun is round like a penny and hot like fire but they consider her a liar, despise her and mock at her. She has been in a state of depression ever since she arrived on Venus and her parents were planning to take her back on Earth.
As Margot stands alone waiting for the rain to subside and the long awaited sun to appear, the other children plan a terrible trick on her. They forcefully carry her to the closet and lock her inside. Wickedly pleased with themselves, they return and move along with the teacher to experience the event they were waiting for.
When the Venus rain finally stops and sun comes out, a bronze flame spreads throughout the forests of Venus. The children exit the tunnels and run around excitedly. But soon the rain clouds move in. The sun hides and heavy showers replace it. All the children reflect on the wonderful experience they had with the sun and then re-enter the tunnels. Suddenly, one of the children remembers that they had locked Margot inside the closet. Slowly she is taken out, but its too late for her, she will have to wait yet another seven years to see the sun which she had been so earnestly waiting for.
All Summer in a Day Summary Word Meanings :
1. Intermixed : Mixed together
2. Peering : Looking narrowly or curiously
3. Compounded : Combined
4. Concussions : Impact, agitation
5. Stunned : Shocked, surprised
6. Slackening : Becoming slower or lesser
7. Feverish : Agitated, heated
8. Frail : Weak
9. Shove : A strong, forceful push
10. Drenched : Completely wet
11. Clutched : Held onto tightly
12. Savagely : Fiercely, rudely
13. Muffled : Suppressed
14. Repercussions : Reverberations
15. Tumultuously : Loudly & excitedly
16. Squeak : Short, high-pitched cry
17. Resilient : Flexible, bouncy
18. Squinted : Looked with eyes partly closed
19. Savoured : Tasted and smelled
20. Avalanche : A great amount
21. Stakes : Pointed sticks or posts
22. Solemn : Sad and serious
All Summer in a Day Summary Questions and Answer
Who seems to be the antagonist in the story ‘All Summer In a Day’, and Why?
William, one of Margot’s classmates, is the antagonist in the story, because he often bullies her. Perhaps, due to a sense of jealously and the inability to understand Margot, he speaks harshly to her and shoves her. This encourages other children too to trap Margot in a hostile manner. As Margot was in a depressed state for being away from the feel of sun, she does not mix up with other children.
She does not play with them and it was heard that she would leave for earth soon. So the other children disliked her and treated her differently. They are unable to comprehend her feeling. William leads the others. On the day when the sun was predicted to rise on Venus, William, with the support of other children, grabs Margot and locks her in a closet and deprives her from the greatest joy she had been waiting for so anxiously, so William is the main bully.
What effect does the absence and presence of sun have on the children on planet Venus?
In Ray Bradbury’s story ‘All summer in summer’, Children living on planet Venus, eagerly await the cessation of rain and appearance of the sun, an event that only occurs once every seven years. The overwhelming rain on Venus has created a harsh, inhospitable environment, suggesting a sense of displacement from the natural world on Earth. They are all the victims of depression created on Venus due to lack of sunlight for continuous seven years. They have been traumatized by the constant rain. When there is no sun, they seem dull and lethargic. Their anxiety to see the sun leads to a chaos. The children’s teasing of Margot quickly escalates to violent bullying. They grab Margot and push her into the closet.
Finally, the sun comes out in the sudden roaring silence and stillness, flooding the sky and jungle with radiant light. The children rush outside and throw off their jackets, reveling in the warmth of the sun. It is far better than they even imagined it would be. They run, laugh and yell, staring at the sun, and try to capture every joyful moment. The idyllic hour passes all too quickly, the clouds sweep in, and the rain starts pelting.
In a dull and sad mood, the children return back to the underground classroom as the sky darkness and the torrential rain recommences. It seems somehow louder and more painful to the children. Somber feelings take over them. They glance at each other, with guilt and shame as they suddenly remember Margot. Slowly and shamefully they move to the closet to free her. The experience of nature brings a sudden sense of peace. The sun has an extremely pleasurable effect, and it seems to physically and mentally revive the children. Absence of sunlight had turned Venus into a tangled and inhospitable wasteland. Similarly, the children too had become cruel and unruly, when outside in the sun, they felt joyful and energied, highlighting the power of sun.
All Summer in a Day Summary Extract Based Questions
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
“He gave her a shove. But she did not move, rather she let herself be moved only by him and nothing else. They edged away from her; they would not look at her. She felt them go away.”
(i) Who is ‘she’? Describe her.
(ii) Where is this story set? Mention any two ways in which the way of life on their planet differs from life on earth.
(iii) To what does Margot compare the sun? What does this tell us about her?
(iv) Why did the other children not come to Margot’s aid when William shoved her?
(v) How does Margot’s behaviour set her apart from the others? Why do you suppose the other children treat her the way they do?
(i) ‘She’ is Margot. She is a weak lifeless girl who had lost the lustre from her eyes, the blush from her face, and the yellow from her hair. She looked like an old photograph dusted from an album, whitened away. Margot is nine years old and resides on planet Venus. She lived on Earth, in ‘Ohio’ until she was four. Now she studies together with the children of those who have come to civilize the planet, Venus.
(ii) The story is set on planet Venus, where the sun shines for only two hours once every seven years. The two ways in which the life on their planet differs from life on earth are :
- Firstly, unlike Earth, the rain fell incessantly with storms on planet Venus. Thousands of forests had been crushed under if and regrounded to be crushed again.
- Secondly, the lack of sunlight had washed away the colour of the skin of the people living on Venus. The people there lived in underground colonies.
(iii) Margot tells the others that sun is round like a ‘penny’ and not like a ‘fire in the store’. Her description of the sun tells that she is able to accurately recall the sun and the way it looked and felt as it shone on her when she was back in Ohio, on the planet earth, five years ago.
(iv) Margot struggles to fit into her life on Venus, but in vain. She does not get along with the other children there. They resent her for her past experiences on Earth with the sun, and they are also angry and jealous that she has the opportunity to travel back to Earth, regardless of the financial costs. They do not help her when William, one of her classmates, shoves her, as they supported him in his dislike for Margot.
(v) Margot has many memories of the sun and she misses it a lot. She refuses to participate in any classroom activity that doesn’t include the sun. She hated the Venusian rain so much that she detests the running showers in the schools shower rooms. The children treat her this way as they despise her and are painfully jealous because Margot has seen the sun and they have not.
They never remember a time when there wasn’t a rain. They especially hate her when they learn that her parents, fearful of the strong distress that Venusians life is causing their daughter, are planning to take her back to Earth.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
“Margot stood apart from them, from these children who could ever remember a time when there wasn ‘t rain and rain and rain.”
(i) Who is Margot? Where is she? Who are ‘these children’?
(ii) What are the children getting ‘ready’ for? What is unique about the life on Venus?
(iii) What did the children dream of?
(iv) Why is Margot different from other children?
(v) Why do they dislike her?
(i) Margot is a thin pale, nine years old girl. She is on the planet Venus. She lived on Earth earlier. These children are the children of the rocket men and women who had come to planet Venus to set up their civilization. They had established underground settlements full of long tunnels.
(ii) The children are getting ‘ready’ to witness the momentous occasion when the sun will come out for an hour after seven years.
Unfortunately, it rains constantly on Venus. It falls without a break, day in and day out, in massive showers. However, for one day, once every seven years, the rain does cease and the sun is briefly visible.
(iii) Sometimes during the night, Margot heard the children stir, as if recollecting a memory and she understood that they were dreaming of gold or a yellow crayon or a coin large enough to buy the world with. They remembered a warmth, like a blushing in the face, in the body, arms legs and trembling hands.
(iv) Margot lived on Earth, in Ohio, until she was four years old. She has many memories of the sun unlike others, because they were far too young when the sun shone last. When Margot tells them that the sun is round like a penny and hot like fire, they accuse her of lying. She distances herself from others.
(v) She does not participate in their games and activities except those that included the sun and the summer. She misses the sun immensely. She remembers the beauty and warmth of the sun. Ever since she came on Venus she had been in depression. She had become pale. She refused to shower in the school shower room as the water reminded her of the Venusians rain. There is a talk circulating that her parents are considering to take her back to Earth, though it would mean a loss of thousands of dollars. Thus, the other school children despise her and are jealous of her. They bully her constantly.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
“They all blinked at him and then, understanding laughed and shook their heads.”
(i) Whom do ‘they’ blink at? Why? What preparation had the children done before witnessing the special occurrence of the sun?
(ii) How do the children take revenge on Margot?
(iii) What is the significance of two hours? What do the children do during these two hours?
(iv) How did they react when the rain drops came back again?
(v) Why do the children unlock the closet door silently? What was their silence behind the closet?
(i) Margot looks out of the window, waiting silently for the rain to stop and the sun to come out. One of the boys, jokes with her and tells that nothing such was going to happen and to confirm it, he asks from others to join him in teasing and fooling Margot. They blink at him signifying their support to the boy’s lie. They tell her . that the scientists were wrong in their predictions about the sun. The children had constantly read and discussed about the sun. They had completed their classroom activities and written poems about the sun.
(ii) When Margot begins to panic on hearing that the sun is not going to appear, the boy who seemed to be particularly hostile towards her, conceives of the idea to lock Margot in the cupboard while the teacher is gone. Margot tries to resist but they overpower her and lock her in the faraway closet. The children are darkly pleased with themselves after punishing Margot, who is left crying and beating against the closet.
(iii) As per the prediction of the scientists, the sun would appear only for two hours, so the children had the opportunity to enjoy the sunlight for only this time. And when the sun appears, the rain stops, the children rush out into the sunshine. They run through the rapidly growing foliage and enjoy the warmth of the sun on their skin.
They play hide and seek, and they push and slip. They looked squintingly at the sun till tears ran down their eyes, they breathed fresh air and listened to the silence. They ran around like wild animals. They completely drenched themselves in the beauty and warmth of the sun.
(iv) The children lose track of time in their enjoyment when the sporadic rain drops begin to fall again. As the first drop fell on the hands of a girl she trembled with fear and disappointment and began to cry. The others also stopped playing immediately and they sadly begin returning to their school. The last rays of sunlight are replaced by thunder and rain.
(v) The children realize that they had played a very mean prank on Margot. They had deprived her of the glimpse of the sun for another seven years. She had been so keenly waiting for this experience. They were enjoying the bright sunlight while Margot was locked inside. The realization of the gravity of their guilt made them slow and silent.
Margot had given up the efforts to free herself from the closet. She had lost the opportunity to witness the sun, after such a long wait. This made her completely distressed and gloomy and she stops banging against the closet realizing it is of no use now.