The article “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury starts off with the narrator describing the morning rituals of a house waking up. The time period was set much into the future as the year is 2026 and many technological indications of the future were made. Much of the house was automated in a way, and things happened on schedule regardless. The surrounding area and city around the house has seem to be destroyed by some type of nuclear war as indicated in the line “The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes. This was the one house left standing. At night the ruined city gave off a radioactive glow which could be seen for miles (Bradbury, Page 1, Paragraph 7). The indication of the city being destroyed and reduced to rubble as well as the narrator stating that the city gave off a radioactive glow strongly indicates that a nuclear war may have happened. The narrator describes a boy throwing a ball high up into the air, and also a girl across from him attempting to catch the ball painted on the wall. The ball may have never come down because of the nuclear explosion that may have happened at that time.
Reading through, the reader learns about what happens in the house at specific times during the day. From the given information as well as the fact that the city was destroyed, it seems that no one is currently living in the house but all the activities are still taking place regardless. Other indications of a nuclear type war would be, “The dog, once huge and fleshy, but now gone to bone and covered with sores, moved in and through the house, tracking mud” (Bradbury, Page 2, Paragraph 4). This shows that the dog may be suffering from exposure to radiation from a nuclear war. Clearly since the dog is showing such ill effects from the radiation, the house is not inhabitable at this time. Regularly scheduled events that happen every day still happened, such as breakfast being made and the garage opening to reveal the car to whoever used to live there. This article shows how much damage people can do to each other. A nuclear war destroyed a thriving town forever.
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin is a story about a city by the sea experiencing happiness. The narrator describes the city at first as be successful, flourishing and all the people living were thriving. The city also lacked guilt. The narrator says, “Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights over the music and singing” (Ursula Le Guin, Page 1, Paragraph 1). This shows that children are out and about having fun in the city. The people also raced horses in the Green Fields. The horses they raced did not wear any horse-rising gear as well as the author stating that “They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our own ceremonies as his own” (Ursula Le Guin, Page 1 Paragraph 1) shows that even the horses are happy and willing to participate in the races.
The narrator also states that happiness may be about personal perspective about a situation. “Happiness is based on just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive” (Ursula Le Guin, Page 2, Paragraph 1). All is not perfect in Omelas though, as the city had struck a bargain for their happiness and prosperity. A locked, window-less room in a basement under one of the buildings in the city held a lone child. The author states the room is three paces long and two wide, as well as foul smelling and dirty. The author says the child may look six, but is ten years old and feeble-minded. The room that child is has two mops in it and the child is terrified of mops (Ursula Le Guin, Page 4, Paragraph 2). The author states the child did not always live in this locked room, and that the child remembered it’s mother’s voice and sunlight. People who infrequently unlock the door feed the child corn meal and grease everyday. The people of the city all know the child is there and what is going on. They all understand that in exchange for the child’s misery, the city would be happy and prosperous.
The interesting story The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman seems to be about a husband caring for his wife. John, the husband, is a physician. The story was written in 1899 so society was drastically different than it is today. The reader instantly pictures a old creaky mansion or house in the second paragraph. John is also stated to be superstitious so that may come into play later. The woman states that she may have nervous depression and her husband and her brother who is also a physician urge her to follow a medication regimen. They also forbid her to work on anything until she is completely well again. The woman strongly disagrees and believes that excitement and pleasant work would help her condition more than the medications she takes. Deep down, John even believed that she wasn’t truly sick, yet he still prevented her from doing her work; writing. It seems that if John let his wife do what she loved, to write, that she would feel better, but he still advises her to take her medication. She thinks that her husband would think that is absurd that writing could make her feel better. Instead he makes her take cod liver oil and tonics and prevents her from eating rare meat or wine. He would not let her go visit her Cousins Henry and Julia either, which also may have helped her. John would keep telling her to heal herself and feel better but he wasn’t around much of the time and wasn’t helping her cause even further.
The way the entire story is written is also reminiscent of maybe journal, diary, or just small entries of personal comments. Some segments of paragraphs look like “chunks” out of maybe a diary to me.
The author uses great imagery to describe specific scenes, rooms, or areas in the story. A few examples would be “A delicious garden”,or “It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore.” Another good example would be “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.” The wallpaper is described in intricate detail in some paragraphs, also adding her experiences or other personal problems into the mix. Most rooms and scenes are described as pleasant except for the nursery or kids room. The wording describes it as very dull, possibly having bad memories in it.
The short story “Girl”, by Jamaica Kincaid is possibly about an older mentor type figure giving advice to what seems like a younger female about the cultural expectations of the society in the time period. It seems to be more directions and direct advice than a conversation going to between the two, because there isn’t much back and forth at all. Some lines seem to be “what not to do” and some seem to be “you are expected to…” It could be possible that this short story is a lecture from a parent to a child on how to act politely or orderly in such a time period or society.
Hi I’m Anoop and I’m currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Computer Systems Technology at City Tech. I’m from Long Island and commute to Brooklyn for school. I’m looking forward to this course because I enjoy writing as well as reading types of fiction. A weakness in writing I have would be I take too much time to actually begin writing a paper and planning it than actually doing it. Although this course is required for my degree, I also elected to take it because I would enjoy the topics discussed in the class.
Some of my hobbies include photography of city and landscapes, traveling around the city to try new foods, as well as visiting scenic places all around New York State. I also enjoy working with and building computers as well playing PC Games. I’ve also enjoyed working with programming languages to build websites and PC applications during my courses at CityTech as well as in my free time.
Looking forward to this semester!