Science Fiction and Ray Bradbury Character Analysis

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This critical essay compares A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury to Nethergrave by Gloria Skurzynsky. The author prefers A Sound of Thunder due to its concept of time travel, vivid descriptions of the future, and better characterization of the main characters. The essay notes that both stories belong in the science fiction category and have interesting concepts, but A Sound of Thunder is more thrilling due to its edge-of-the-seat action. The essay also points out that while both stories include characterization, Nethergrave relies more on direct characterization, while A Sound of Thunder uses indirect characterization to convey the personalities of its characters.

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Critical Essay on “A Sound of Thunder” and “Nethergrave”

Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder” surpasses Gloria Skurzynsky’s “Nethergrave” in terms of its future portrayal and captivating plot. Unlike “Nethergrave,” “A Sound of Thunder” successfully keeps readers on the edge of their seats with its thrilling action. One aspect that sets “A Sound of Thunder” apart is its exploration of time travel. Additionally, Bradbury’s vivid descriptions and imaginative use of adjectives give readers a compelling vision of the future. In comparison, the characterization in “Nethergrave” falls short when compared to the richly developed characters seen in “A Sound of Thunder.”

Both “A Sound of Thunder” and “Nethergrave” are science fiction stories. In “A Sound of Thunder,” the time travel adventure of Eckels is perfectly portrayed. When he sees the Time Machine for the first time, he is amazed by the disordered arrangement of wires and steel boxes, accompanied by a captivating aurora that flickers in colors of orange, silver, and blue. The scene comes to life with a humming sound similar to a bonfire burning throughout history. The detailed descriptions in this story contribute to its extraordinary nature. Conversely, “Nethergrave” also presents an intriguing vision of the future but mainly focuses on portraying Jeremy as unsuccessful in social and physical activities.

The concept of a computer program or vortex that enables individuals to flee from reality and adopt a different identity or existence seems intriguing yet implausible. Despite their dissimilar conclusions, “Nethergrave” and “A Sound of Thunder” can be classified as science fiction, albeit the former being less futuristic than the latter.

Both Ray Bradbury and Gloria Skurzynsky employ extensive characterization in their stories. However, the portrayal of Travis, Lesperance, and Eckels in “A Sound of Thunder” surpasses the characterization of Jeremy in “Nethergrave”. Bradbury skillfully depicts the personalities of the characters. Travis is shown as a harsh and company-minded individual, while Eckels is described as an indecisive but affluent hunter. On the other hand, Skurzynsky focuses on Jeremy’s physical and mental attributes. Unlike Bradbury, Skurzynsky describes Jeremy as a small, skinny boy who can be indirectly perceived as a computer geek and the son of a divorced couple, with his father being a wealthy company owner. “Nethergrave” predominantly employs direct characterization, whereas “A Sound of Thunder” leans towards indirect characterization.

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