He is the father in "The Veldt," and his family lives in an automated home called the "Happy-life home." At first in denial, he grows concerned with his children's fixation on the violence of the African savannah, which they visit in their technologically advanced "nursery." He and his wife are now powerless after essentially being replaced by their home. He dies at the hands of the nursery's lions.
She is the mother in "The Veldt." She and her husband worry about their children's attachment to their automated home, the "Happy-life home." She feels lost and purposeless now that their home has taken over all of the domestic duties. Essentially replaced by the home, Lydia and her husband George are resented by their children and eventually die in the nursery.
The son in "The Veldt" who is obsessed with the automated home and the lifelike nursery. He is manipulative and threatening with his father, who he does not respect or understand. He and his sister, Wendy, imagine their parents' death so often in the African savannah that it eventually comes to pass at the end of the story.
The daughter in "The Veldt," who is obsessed with the simulations in the nursery. She lies and tries to manipulate her parents, who she sees as obsolete and unnecessary. Together with her brother, they bring about the death of their parents.
He is the family friend of the Hadley's and a psychologist. Perceptive and analytical, he immediately sees how the scenery the children are imagining in the nursery is dark and troubling. When he returns at the end of the story, the reader realizes that George and Lydia Hadley have been killed.
Eckels is the protagonist of "A Sound of Thunder." At first brash and abrasive, Eckels becomes scared and timid when he sees the dinosaur. His mindless wandering off of the path causes major changes for the future.
The safari guide in "A Sound of Thunder." He warns the hunters of the dangers of interrupting the past, specifying the major repercussions it can have on the future. When Eckels steps on a butterfly in the past and changes the results of a presidential election, Travis is outraged and kills Eckels upon their return to present day.
Margot is the protagonist in "All Summer in a Day." She is lonely, pale, and has trouble fitting in with the rest of her classmates because of her prior experiences on Earth. She moved to Venus at age 5 and desperately misses the sun. Her classmates bully her and lock her in a closet during the two hours the sun will be out for seven years.
Harry Bittering is the protagonist in "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed." He is the wife of Cora Bittering and the father of Dan Bittering, Laura Bittering, and David Bittering. He resists the changes the planet Mars tries to impose upon him, but he eventually accepts them and acclimates to his new home.
Cora Bittering is the wife of Harry Bittering. She encourages him to relax and accept the fact that they now live on Mars and cannot return to Earth. Like her husband, she eventually forgets that they were from Earth.
He is the son of Harry Bittering and Cora Bittering. He is the first to accept their status as Martians, which is shown when he asks to change his name to Linnl.
David Bittering is the son of Cora Bittering and Harry Bittering.
Laura Bittering is the daughter of Harry Bittering and Cora Bittering. She is the first to deliver the news that an atomic bomb hit New York and no rockets will be able to go to Mars.
The real name of the "Murderer" is Albert Brock. He is a character in "The Murderer" who is discouraged with technological advances in society. He sets out to destroy the pieces of technology in his life, and he is ostracized and sent to a mental hospital because of his behavior.
McDunn is a supporting character in "The Fog Horn." He explains the arrival of the monster and formulates theories about why it arrives at the lighthouse once a year. He helps to articulate the themes of loneliness and companionship that surface in the story.
Mr. Ramirez is the protagonist of "I See You Never," who is deported to Mexico after overstaying his visa. His parting dialogue with his landlady, Mrs. O'Brien, allows us to see the beauty in sentiments that are communicated unconventionally.
Mrs. O'Brien is the landlady in "I See You Never," who realizes the touching sentiment of Mr. Ramirez's final words to her after he has already left her apartment.
Emperor Yuan is a character in "The Flying Machine." He executes the inventor of a beautiful flying machine. He desperately needs control in his life and acts as the censor for technological development. To him, the most beautiful things in life are things that he can control.
The flying man, or the inventor of the flying machine, is a character in "The Flying Machine." He creates a beautiful invention and is eventually killed for it under an act of censorship. His character raises questions of the ethics of technological innovation and attempts at controlling it.
Leonard Mead is the protagonist of "The Pedestrian." He is arrested and detained for "regressive behavior." His insistence on his nightly walks raises questions about the interference of technological development into traditional pastimes, such as walking.
Dad ("The Million Year Picnic")
The father in a family of five, he has led his children to Mars for a fishing trip. He represents hope, honesty, and the prospects of a new beginning on Mars - away from the destruction that has taken place on Earth.
"The Million Year Picnic" is told from the perspective of Timothy, who is the oldest of the three boys. He represents the strength and youth necessary for rebuilding a new civilization on Mars.
Edgar Allen Poe
Fantasy writer who now leads the Martian forces against the Earth rocket in "The Exiles."
Ray Bradbury: Short Stories Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ray Bradbury: Short Stories is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
There Will Come Soft Rains" is titled after the randomly selected poem read by the house, which is an actual poem by Sara Teasdale. The poem communicates the idea that nature will outlast humanity and thrive once man's civilizations have been...