All Summer in a Day

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"All Summer in a Day"
AuthorRay Bradbury
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Published inThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Media typeShort story
Publication dateMarch 1954

"All Summer in a Day" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in the March 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.[1]

Plot synopsis[edit]

The story is about a class of students on Venus, which, in this story, is a world of constant rainstorms, where the Sun is only visible for one hour every seven years.

One of the children, Margot, moved to Venus from Earth five years earlier, and she is the only one who remembers sunshine, since the sun shines regularly on Earth. When the teacher asks them to write a poem about the sun, hers is:

"I think the sun is a flower,
That blooms for just one hour."

She describes the Sun as "a penny", or "like a fire in the stove". The other children, being too young ever to have seen it themselves, do not believe her. Led by a boy named William, they bully and antagonize her, and just before the sun comes out, William rallies the other children, and they lock her in a closet down a tunnel.

As the sun is about to appear, their teacher arrives to take the class outside to enjoy their hour of sunshine and, in their astonishment and joy, they all forget about Margot. They run, play, skip, jump, and prance about, savoring every second of their newfound freedom. "Oh, it's better than the sunlamps, isn't it?" one of them cries.

Suddenly, a girl catches a raindrop in her hands. Thunder sounds, then the lightning comes, and the children run back inside as the sun disappears and it starts to pour again. At this point, one of them remembers Margot, who is still locked in the closet. Ashamed, they let her out of the closet, standing frozen, embarrassed over what they have done and unable to "meet each other's glances."

The precious sun has come and gone, and because of their despicable act, Margot, who loved the sun the most, has missed it.

Adaptations[edit]

A 30-minute television adaptation was created, originally broadcast on the PBS' children's series WonderWorks in 1982. The ending is expanded to show the children atoning for their horrible act by giving Margot flowers that they picked while the Sun was out.[2] The director of photography was Robert Elswit, who went on to become an Academy Award winning cinematographer.

Short Film Cast[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

"All Summer in a Day" is alluded to in a description of main character Oscar Wao, from Junot Díaz's 2007 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. "Sucks a lot to be left out of adolescence, sort of like getting locked in the closet on Venus when the sun appears for the first time in a hundred years."[3] Although in Bradbury's story, it comes out every seven years.

The story also is referenced in chapter 22 of Karen Thompson Walker’s 2012 novel The Age of Miracles.

The story is referenced in Season 3 Episode 2 of the cartoon Drawn Together when the character Toot Braunstein is trapped in the closet and doesn't get to experience the Wienermobile’s hot dog offerings.

In the re-rerecorded version of Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest, the song "High To Death" includes a sample from the television adaption of the story. The subtitle of the song in the album booklet is "All Summer In A Night".[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Publication history for "All Summer in a Day" at Author Wars web site. "This text is available under a Creative Commons License and may have been adapted from the All Summer in a Day bibliography at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database." Retrieved from http://authors.wizards.pro/books/titles/58363/all-summer-in-a-day.
  2. ^ All Summer In A Day Pt. 3 on YouTube
  3. ^ The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz, pg. 23
  4. ^ "(William! Let me out! / William! / William! Let me out, William!)". Genius. Retrieved 2020-01-30.

External links[edit]