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The Illustrated Man

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The Illustrated Man

How do you feel about death? I can assure you that Ray Bradbury, the author of The Illustrated Man, had a more peculiar view on death compared to you and I. Bradbury once stated "Death doesn't exist. It never did, it never will. But we've drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we've got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.". Bradbury doesn't fear death because he doesn't believe in it.

In the novel The Illustrated Man, Bradbury seems to write stories about people being put in dangerous situations, and the way he has characters cope with death is interesting because, that is the way I think he feels about it. For example in the story The Last Night of the World, why were the husband and wife so calm knowing it was the last night of their existence. If it were me I would feel a little scared knowing that the end was coming, I wouldn't go crazy but I would be sad at least.

In the story kaleidoscope, Bradbury writes about a rocket ship that blows up and sends its crew of astronauts dispersed throughout space in many directions; facing certain death. Each crew member is on a different path of obstacles but most of them remain calm while in this drastic situation. Actually one of the astronauts, Applegate, antagonizes one of his fellow crew members, Stimson. Which I thought was weird to do in there last few moments. Applegate had suggested "It's a bad dream" (29), to Stimson; while Stimson was rambling about not believing in the situation. Maybe Bradbury tries to point out Applegate


antagonizing Stimson, so that Applegate doesn't have to think about the idea of death. Thus it is easier to accept it that way.

In the same story kaleidoscope, Bradbury's main example for acceptance of death was, Hollis, who tries to cope with his very imminent death. Hollis was the captain of the rocket ship, did not only remain calm but he tried to keep everyone else at ease. While all the other crew members were going through their own dark path, Hollis came to a conclusion "When life is over it is a flicker of bright film, an instant on the screen, all of its prejudice and passion condensed and illumined for an instant on space, and before you could cry out, "There was a happy day, there was a bad one, there an evil face, there a good one," the film burned to a cinder, the screen went dark." (23). The fact that someone could come to realize something like this in that situation, is just wild to me, I think that I would be more like Stimson; scared of what's to come.

It's extremely weird to think about how I will act when I know it's my time. I hope that



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