43 pages 1 hour read

Ray Bradbury

A Sound Of Thunder

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1952

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Literary Devices

Figurative Language

Figurative language encompasses a range of techniques like metaphor, simile, and personification, all of which incorporate non-literal elements that give the reader new insights or understanding. Bradbury’s frequent use of figurative language adds to the vivid descriptions of the scene, particularly notable in the passages in which the characters are in the past. He uses metaphor and personification to enrich the scenes, help readers imagine themselves in the strange landscape of the past and to imbue animals, objects, and the jungle itself with a sense of aliveness to convey the menace and wonder of the setting.

On several occasions, Bradbury uses metaphor and personification to compare nature and technology. He toys with, and at times blurs, this distinction as he writes of the time machine “howling” and each of the Tyrannosaurus’s legs as a “piston,” attributing living qualities to the non-living machine and vice versa. When the Tyrannosaurus dies, Bradbury describes its body shutting down as a “a steam shovel at quitting time” (116) and refers to its delicate “watchmaker’s arms” (112).

Bradbury maintains the metaphor of time as fire throughout the story, describing it initially as “a bonfire burning all of time” (103).