26 pages 52 minutes read

Ray Bradbury

Zero Hour

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1947

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Important Quotes

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“Oh, it was to be so jolly! What a game!”

(Paragraph 1)

The imminent alien invasion is framed early on as something innocent. This description both encapsulates the children’s initial innocence and highlights that the adults will not take the proceedings seriously.

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“The adult civilization passed and repassed the busy youngsters, jealous of the fierce energy of the wild tots, tolerantly amused at their flourishings, longing to join in themselves.”

(Paragraph 13)

This quote establishes how deeply divided the adults and the children are by painting “adult civilization” as something separate from the wildness of childhood. It also shows that the adults may have complex feelings about their separation from childhood but cannot do anything about it.

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“The perfect weapons were held in equal trust by all nations.”

(Paragraph 32)

The suggestion that adult civilization has come to an agreement about the holding of weapons shows the adults’ complacency. They do not realize that the most perfect weapons are, in fact, their children.