All Summer in a Day
I have a secret I have been meaning to tell you. It all began when I was out with the boys. I had promised my wife to quit drinking, but this day I could not resist. It was hard to be out with the guys in a bar and not do it. The moment I went into the bar I forgot all the promises I had made to my wife and myself. Another secret I was hiding from her was the fact that I was heavily in debt. Drinking would help me forget my problems. At first, we were alone, but soon people filled in, and we were in the middle of an excited crowd. I was carried away with the mood of the place and therefore could not control my drinking.
I decided to get to the roof and get some fresh air away from the crowded bar. I was deeply engrossed in a conversation with myself possible solutions to my problems. I was started by a gentle voice from the other side. I could help but listen to her ranting over how much he had given to the relationship and the little she was getting from it. “I have heard enough!” she screamed. I forgot my problems for a moment. I went over to offer her a shoulder to cry on. I offered her my coat since she was shivering with cold. After a short conversation, I ended up in her room. We took some coffee, talked some more. One thing led to another. I was woken up by the buzzing of my phone. It was my friend telling me that it was time to go home. I sneaked into the bed beside my wife at 3 a.m. The guilt is killing me now that I am sober again!
In the story, “All Summer in Day,” the writer warns the society about treating others differently because they behave in another way. The main character in the story is a young girl known as Margot. She moves from Earth to Venus for five years. As a result, she comes back with an introvert and melancholic character. She withdraws to herself and refuses to be a part of public affairs. Because of the way she has changed, the rest of the society treats Margot differently. She faces violence from some of her classmates who sees her distinctive. The writer brings out the external and internal conflicts within Margot and between her and the other children. William specifically shows that he does not like Margot and therefore exhibits violent behavior towards her (Bradbury, 1992). The internal conflict comes from the way the children treat Margot and by the fact that she misses the sun that she had grown used to. She realizes that she misses her home, and this makes her melancholic. Margot behaves differently from the rest, and, as a result, she is alienated and rejected. She lives with the deep-seated feeling of anguish and lacks joy in her heart. As it is seen from this short story, if an individual does not follow the rules of society, there can be negative, sometimes violent, consequences. Rejection of the manifestations of individuality by society can lead to many conflicts, either internal or external. However, the society should accept any expression of an individual, which differs from existing standards.
The foundation of the interaction of human socialization in the society today is built on behavior. The society wants a personality that is a reflection of the opinion of the family and community. This fact suppresses the freedom of thought and individual action from the different members. Rules are set to define the type of person that is considered fit for the society. The standards of morality condemn personal choices which seem to act in contravention of the rules. Expressing one’s independent trait that is against these principles would make one an outcast (Ballantine, Roberts, & Korgen, 2016). In the story, the other children treat Margot as an outcast because they did not understand her. She was treated like an alien because of her experience that was strange to the others around her. Other than rejecting her, she was subjected to bullying. The classmates treated her differently because she did not behave according to the rules that guided her behavior. What comes out from her the kind of treatment that this young girl is subjected to is that when an individual exhibits a behavior that is outside the norms and standards set by the society, the other members react negatively to him or her. They treat the person as a misfit. Margot was isolated by being locked up in a closet.
Our intolerant attitude towards other members of our society only serves to create conflicts. When we respond negatively to the behavior of others, we create a conflict between them and us. We make them develop internal conflicts within them. Intolerance guides our actions towards them in a manner that creates conflict within us too. This happens when we come to realize that we may have acted mean towards some people simply because we failed to understand them. In this particular story, the young girl experiences conflicts in her life; both internal and external. Her conflict with the other children emanates from the fact that she had experienced something different from them (Ballantine et al., 2016). William especially treated Margot as a stranger on the planet. He threatened violence against her for being different. The other classmates replicated the same. Margot was also suffering from the internal turmoil due to the difference between her experience on Earth and Venus. She misses the sun and the life on the other planet, and this makes her not settle well on Earth. In the end, the classmates suffer from internal conflicts too. When they let her out of the closet, they were overwhelmed by feeling of guilt and disappointment because of the way they had acted towards her. They realized that they had denied her of the sun yet she was entitled to it just like them. The anger that had developed within them was slowly turning into shame and disappointment hence creating internal conflict.
People develop different personalities due to both internal and external circumstances. The latter come from inconsistency in the standards used by the community as well as the conflict of the expectations of others. When Margot came back to Venus, she developed a distant and indifferent behavior towards the community where she lived. She became a quite, indecisive, and an anti-social person (Bradbury, 1992). She seemed to have adopted behavior that was different from how the other children behaved. The other adolescents did not understand her and hated her for it. It was because of this response that made her more withdrawn than before. Seemed not to share the same values of the other because of her on Earth. The other children contributed more to her new personality by having a negative response towards her.
Individuals with different character traits and personality make up the society. Because of this difference in nature, there are social rules meant to guide the interaction among the members of the society. The latter has set one condition that each and every member has to adhere to the set rules. To be fully accepted in the society, one should strictly follow the rules and standards of social behavior. Failure to do this would render one a misfit in the society (Hawkley & Cacioppo, 2010). The other children acted negatively and violently towards Margot because she behaved differently from them. Her behavior has set her on a collision path with the others who treated her as if she does not belong to them. Living in a society that had specific values and rules of behavior becomes challenging for an individual who may have a different view to life. The response of the other children towards Margot is therefore expected for any society that has rules and standards of behavior.
In his book, “All Summer in a Day,” Bradbury brings us to the understanding of societal behavior towards individuals that fail to follow the set rules. The negative behavior that the other children exhibited towards Margot is a clear indication of the way the society treats those who go against the norms. The kind of cruel treatment she went through is what many people who seem to deviate from the societal norms are usually subjected to. However, this should not be the case. We should at least try to understand why some people behave the way they do before we condemn them. At the end of the story, the classmates are left wondering why they had treated Margot that badly. They are left dealing with internal conflicts arising from the shame of showing her such a cruel behavior. When we react negatively to others because they behave differently from the general standards, we create conflict between them and us. Furthermore, we subject them to internal conflicts. We may also experience internal conflict when we are faced with the consequences of our actions.