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Little Things Make a Big Difference in “A Sound of Thunder”
If life is like a scale, then Ray Bradbury’s short story “A Sound of Thunder” illustrates how easily this scale can be tipped. “A Sound of Thunder” is an intriguing short story about time travel and its potential to distort the intricate balance of life. The story begins in the year 2055 when a group of five men, consisting of three hunters and two Time Safari guides travel sixty six million years back in time to hunt what they consider the most amazing monster in history: Tyrannosaurus Rex. Although the men succeed in killing their game, one hunter named Eckels panics at the sight of the monster and steps off the levitating metal path intended to separate the men from the ancient …show more content…
In “A Sound of Thunder,” the two presidents symbolize two different approaches to government. Keith represents a fair democracy while Deutscher symbolizes a harsh dictatorship. Before the group departs on their journey back in time, Bradbury expresses the characters’ opinions of the two presidential candidates, “Thank God Keith won. He’ll make a fine president of the United States… If Deutscher had gotten in, we’d have the worst kind of government. There’s a man for war but against everything else; against religion, against helping people, and against people knowing too much.” Here, the author contrasts the two different candidates, describing Keith as a reasonable president and Deutscher as a tyrant. Furthermore, the reader can infer that when the group returns to 2055, citizens and the electorate who voted for Deutscher are not informed of his totalitarian platform because the current governments has prevented people from “knowing too much.” Thus, the magnitude of change resulting from Eckels stepping off the path, is symbolized by the two different presidents and the citizens voted for them. Upon a deeper analysis of the text, the reader realizes that Bradbury’s symbolism does not stop …show more content…
The author uses symbolism to have Keith represent democracy and Deutscher represent dictatorship as well as an ignorant electorate unable to recognize Deutscher’s true nature. This contrast helps the reader understand how much the world changes after Eckels steps off the path and kills the butterfly. Understanding the political context that influenced Bradbury’s writing provides an even deeper understanding of the symbolism he used. Bradbury utilized the post war context to ensure his reader would empathize with the characters when they return to world being ruled by a man symbolizing Hitler. By empathizing with the characters, the reader is able to connect with the story and understand how even a seemingly insignificant action can influence the future. To make such an interesting plot possible, Bradbury uses science fictionas a vehicle to combine his symbolism and political references into an entertaining story that keeps the reader engaged with the

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