All Summer in a Day

Discussion questions and related resources for the short story by Ray Bradbury

A short and tightly focused vignette of human life on another planet, “All Summer in a Day” explores the psychological and social consequences of living in an alien environment.

The text of the story is included in The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology but can be downloaded free of charge here.

The film version by Learning Corporation of America is a dated adaptation that takes some liberties with the story, but some teachers and students may find it worthwhile.

Bradbury Stories is a popular collection, but note that it does not include “All Summer in a Day.”

Questions for Discussion and Writing

1. Why do you think Margot acts the way she does—why doesn’t she play with her classmates, for example? Why does she react so strongly to the shower?

2. Why do you think the other children mistreat Margot? Why do they refuse to believe what she says? Why do you think the boy says, “Nothing’s happening today”? What does this show about why people bully others?

3. What do you think happens after the story ends?

4. What do you think the sun might symbolize in this story? It represents more than just the actual, physical sun. What long-term effect do you think never seeing the sun might have on people? What do you think the story suggests about advanced technology that might allow us to do things like live on Venus?

5. What do you think are the themes and messages of the story? Think about the situation the people in Venus are in, as well as the consequences of it, and consider what happens to Margot in the story as well.

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Questions © 2007 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.