43 pages 1 hour read

Ray Bradbury

A Sound Of Thunder

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1952

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Story Analysis

Analysis: “A Sound of Thunder”

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was an acclaimed American author and screenwriter famous for his science fiction and horror short stories, his work on the popular TV series The Twilight Zone, and most of all his novel Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury was very concerned with issues of censorship, state oppression, and the effects of technology.

“A Sound of Thunder” is an action-packed short story that takes place in 2050. Though the story takes place in the future, Bradbury wrote it in the years after World War II, and it alludes to the fears and concerns of the 1950’s following the war. These fears include the threat of fascism, anxieties about technology, and technology's negative impact on the environment. While Bradbury is widely considered a science fiction author, he resisted the categorization, arguing that his books depicted the fantastical and unreal rather than someday possible. In addition, the story contains elements of action and adventure, with high tension and high stakes passages.

Since A Sound of Thunder imagines a future in which time travel is viable and has been commercialized, it can be considered speculative fiction. Speculative fiction is a broad category of fiction that takes place in a world that is, in some ways, unlike our own, and usually involves futuristic or supernatural elements.