43 pages 1 hour read

Ray Bradbury

A Sound Of Thunder

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1952

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Character Analysis


Eckels, the main character, is a hunting enthusiast with money to spend. He has been on several safaris already and feels ready for the biggest thrill of his life—hunting a Tyrannosaurus Rex with Time Safari. Eckels begins the story acting overconfident while trying to suppress his fear. He seems to want to prove himself, as he flushes “angrily” when the official tries to scare him. Bradbury gives details about Eckels’s inner state through physiological details: “face pale, his jaw stiff” (105), and trembling in his arms.

Eckels also seems to think that his money can solve all his problems. After he fails to shoot the dinosaur and runs back to the time machine, he tries to bribe Travis with a check for $100,000. This detail makes Eckels seem foolhardy, as if he does not understand the true implications of his actions, and he thinks his money—a simplistic solution—can solve the complex problem he has embroiled the hunting party in.


Travis is the safari leader. He takes time travel very seriously, warning Eckels and the other hunters about the dangers of disobeying the rules. He is harsh with Eckels, even threatening to leave him behind. Travis lectures Eckels and the other hunters about the implications of changing the past, serving as the main vehicle through which Bradbury conveys the sensitivity of nature.