All Summer in a Day
|"All Summer in a Day"|
|Published in||The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction|
|Publication date||March 1954|
|Followed by||Fahrenheit 451|
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 shone 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 one 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 newly found freedoms. "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.
A 30-minute television adaptation, 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. The director of photography was Robert Elswit, who went on to become an Academy Award winning cinematographer.
Short Film Cast
- Reesa Mallen as Margot
- Keith Coogan as William
- Tammy Simpson as Paula
- Jerry Marshak as Michael
- Bridget Meade as Lisa
- Edith Fields as Mrs. Callaghan
In popular culture
All Summer in a Day is alluded to in a description of main character Oscar Wao, from Junot Díaz's 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." Although in Bradbury's All Summer in a Day, it comes out every seven years.
The story is referenced in Season 3 Episode 2 of the cartoon Drawn Together when the character Toot is trapped in the closet and doesn't get to experience the Wiener Man's hot dog offerings.
When this story was written, conditions on Venus were unknown. Astronomers knew Venus was covered in clouds, and many thought it might be wet. Many depictions of Venus in fiction of the time adopted this assumption, including Bradbury here and in The Long Rain.
- 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.
- on YouTube
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz, pg. 23