A Sound of Thunder

by

Ray Bradbury

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Mr. Travis Character Analysis

A safari guide employed by Time Safari, Inc., Mr. Travis leads the expedition on which Mr. Eckels sets out. Travis has a keen sense of the danger of their trip, but he is primarily concerned with protecting the bottom line. He stresses how much Time Safari, Inc. pays the government in order to stay in business and warns the hunters that they must avoid straying from the path at all costs. He also scolds Eckels for handling his gun improperly. Yet despite his apparent concern for rules, Mr. Travis also appears volatile and impatient. For instance, he responds with anger when Eckels does not keep total silence during the dinosaur’s approach. And after the hunt concludes, Travis becomes enraged when he realizes that Eckels has strayed from the path. He laments the huge government fine to be paid and suggests leaving Eckels behind, although that would only compound the damage to the past. Lesperance talks him down from this extreme punishment, but Travis still forces Eckels to retrieve the bullets from the dead animal’s corpse. After returning to the present, Travis tells Eckels to leave and never return. When Eckels draws attention to his mistake of stepping on a butterfly, however, Travis responds with deadly force. Impervious to Eckels’ pleas, he aims his rifle at the man’s head and concludes the story with another sound of thunder.

Mr. Travis Quotes in A Sound of Thunder

The A Sound of Thunder quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Travis or refer to Mr. Travis. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of A Sound of Thunder published in 2005.
A Sound of Thunder Quotes

Not knowing it, we might kill an important animal, a small bird, a roach, a flower even, thus destroying an important link in a growing species. […] The stomp of your foot, on one mouse, could start an earthquake, the effects of which could shake our earth and destinies down through time, to their very foundations.

Related Characters: Mr. Travis (speaker), Mr. Eckels, Lesperance
Related Symbols: Butterfly
Page Number: 214-215
Explanation and Analysis:

“It can’t be killed.” Eckels pronounced this verdict quietly, as if there could be no argument. He had weighed the evidence and this was his considered opinion. The rifle in his hands seemed a cap gun. “We were fools to come. This is impossible.” […] Eckels, not looking back, walked blindly to the edge of the Path, his gun limp in his arms, stepped off the Path, and walked, not knowing it, in the jungle.

Related Characters: Mr. Eckels (speaker), Mr. Travis, Lesperance
Related Symbols: Thunder
Page Number: 218-219
Explanation and Analysis:

This ruins us! We’ll forfeit! Thousands of dollars of insurance! We guarantee no one leaves the Path. He left it. Oh, the fool! I’ll have to report to the government. They might revoke our licence to travel. Who knows what he’s done to Time, to History!

Related Characters: Mr. Travis (speaker), Mr. Eckels, Lesperance
Page Number: 221
Explanation and Analysis:

… “can’t we take it back, can’t we make it alive again? Can’t we start over? Can’t we—”

He did not move. Eyes shut, he waited, shivering. He heard Travis breathe loud in the room; he heard Travis shift his rifle, click the safety catch, and raise the weapon.

There was a sound of thunder.

Related Characters: Mr. Eckels (speaker), Mr. Travis
Related Symbols: Thunder, Butterfly
Page Number: 223-224
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Travis Character Timeline in A Sound of Thunder

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Travis appears in A Sound of Thunder. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Sound of Thunder
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
The company agent hands Eckels over to the safari guide Mr. Travis, although it is unclear whether Eckels has actually stated that he would like to continue... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Eckels nervously contemplates the rifles they all hold, tightly gripping his own gun. He asks Travis if the guns can “get a dinosaur cold.” Travis responds equivocally, noting that some dinosaurs... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
Travis begins a speech emphasizing that the travelers are now far, far in the past, listing... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
Eckels expresses his confusion at the rules, prompting Travis to launch into a long explanation. The guide details a long list of potential blunders... (full context)
Mortality Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
Eckels messes about with his gun a bit while waiting and Travis scolds him not to aim at anything but the dinosaur. Lesperance signals that the T.... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
Travis tries to silence Eckels, then directs him to wait in the Time Machine and promises... (full context)
Mortality Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
...all profoundly effected by the creature’s bloody end, some cursing and others vomiting in disgust. Travis returns to find Eckels shivering on the floor of the Time Machine. He retrieves supplies... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
Eckels finally says, “I’m sorry.” Travis, realizing that Eckels wandered off the path, yells and him and threatens to leave him... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
...covered in blood, they leave for the future. Lesperance suggests the punishment was unnecessary, but Travis claims that it will prevent Eckels from hunting “game like this” in the future. Travis... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
When they arrive, Travis observes the office with suspicion. Assured by the company agent that everything is alright, he... (full context)
Cause and Effect Theme Icon
Mortality Theme Icon
...pleading to go back and fix things, Eckels waits in silence, eyes closed. He hears Travis take a breath, raise his rifle, and release the safety on his gun. The story... (full context)