All Summer in a Day

by

Ray Bradbury

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Children Character Analysis

William and Margot are the only students named in the story, but the other students also join William in teasing Margot, and they get to play outside in the sun while Margot is locked up. In their unruly excitement before the sun comes out, Bradbury writes that they are like jumbled weeds. But after they have experienced the sun’s revitalizing energy, the schoolchildren are devastated by the return of the rain and they suddenly feel ashamed about how they have treated Margot.

Children Quotes in All Summer in a Day

The All Summer in a Day quotes below are all either spoken by Children or refer to Children. 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:
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam edition of All Summer in a Day published in 1990.
All Summer in a Day Quotes

The children pressed to each other like so many roses, so many weeds, intermixed, peering out for a look at the hidden sun.

Related Characters: Children
Related Symbols: Weeds
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:

Sometimes, at night, she heard them stir, in remembrance, and she knew they were dreaming and remembering gold or a yellow crayon or a coin large enough to buy the world with. She knew they thought they remembered a warmness, like a blushing in the face, in the body, in the arms and legs and trembling hands. But then they always awoke to the tatting drum, the endless shaking down of clear bead necklaces upon the roof, the walk, the gardens, the forests, and their dreams were gone.

Related Characters: Margot, Children
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:

They edged away from her, they would not look at her. She felt them go away. And this was because she would play no games with them in the echoing tunnels of the underground city. If they tagged her and ran, she stood blinking after them and did not follow. When the class sang songs about happiness and life and games her lips barely moved. Only when they sang about the sun and the summer did her lips move as she watched the drenched windows. And then, of course, the biggest crime of all was that she had come here only five years ago from Earth, and she remembered the sun and the way the sun was and the sky was when she was four in Ohio. And they, they had been on Venus all their lives, and they had been only two years old when last the sun came out and had long since forgotten the color and heat of it and the way it really was.

Related Characters: Margot, Children
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 89-90
Explanation and Analysis:

Then, for the first time, she turned and looked at him. And what she was waiting for was in her eyes. "Well, don’t wait around here!" cried the boy savagely. "You won’t see nothing!" Her lips moved.

Related Characters: William (speaker), Margot, Children
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

"You’ve only two hours, you know. You wouldn’t want to get caught out!" But they were running and turning their faces up to the sky and feeling the sun on their cheeks like a warm iron; they were taking off their jackets and letting the sun burn their arms. "Oh, it’s better than the sun lamps, isn’t it?"

Related Characters: Children (speaker), Teacher (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 91-92
Explanation and Analysis:

They stopped running and stood in the great jungle that covered Venus, that grew and never stopped growing, tumultuously, even as you watched it. It was a nest of octopi, clustering up great arms of fleshlike weed, wavering, flowering in this brief spring. It was the color of rubber and ash, this jungle, from the many years without sun. It was the color of stones and white cheeses and ink, and it was the color of the moon.

Related Characters: Children
Related Symbols: Weeds
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

In the midst of their running one of the girls wailed. Everyone stopped. The girl, standing in the open, held out her hand. "Oh, look, look," she said, trembling. They came slowly to look at her opened palm. In the center of it, cupped and huge, was a single raindrop. She began to cry, looking at it.

Related Characters: Children (speaker)
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

Then they closed the door and heard the gigantic sound of the rain falling in tons and avalanches, everywhere and forever. "Will it be seven more years?" "Yes. Seven."

Related Characters: Children (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

"Margot." They stood as if someone had driven them, like so many stakes, into the floor. They looked at each other and then looked away. They glanced out at the world that was raining now and raining and raining steadily. They could not meet each other’s glances. Their faces were solemn and pale. They looked at their hands and feet, their faces down. "Margot."

Related Characters: Margot, Children
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:
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Children Character Timeline in All Summer in a Day

The timeline below shows where the character Children appears in All Summer in a Day. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
All Summer in a Day
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
A group of children press against the window of their underground classroom on the planet Venus, watching as the... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
One child, Margot, stands apart. Like all the children, she is nine years old. This means that most of the children can’t remember when... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
The day before, the schoolchildren had read about the sun and written short stories or poems about it. When Margot... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
But back in the classroom, the children are unsupervised as they wait feverishly by the windows. They worry that their teacher won’t... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
...When she doesn’t respond, he shoves her, but she still doesn’t react and the other children edge away. Margot herself usually eschews the company of other children, refusing to play games... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
Margot arrived on Venus from Earth five years ago, so, unlike the other children, she remembers the sun and the sky very well from her childhood. Sometimes she describes... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
...he tells her the sun won’t actually come out—it was all a joke. The other children join in, laughing and saying the sun won’t come out. Margot protests weakly. (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
At William’s urging, all the children surge around Margot and push her into a closet in the hallway as she pleads... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
...everyone is ready and accounted for. She does not notice that Margot isn’t there. The children crowd around the classroom door as the rain slows and then finally stops. Outside, it... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
Finally, the sun comes out, turning the sky bright blue and sending the children bursting out into the sunlight. Their teacher warns them not to go too far, since... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
...tumultuous, fleshy grey weeds, overgrown and bleached by the rain. In this strange environment, the children run and play among the trees, shouting and laughing. They stare up at the sun... (full context)
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
...holds out her palm to reveal a single raindrop. She begins to cry as the children stare up at the sky and the first cold drops fall on their faces. The... (full context)
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
Suddenly, the rain returns in force and the sky darkens with thunder. The children run back to the classroom, where they peer out at the deafening rain that seems... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Suddenly, one of the children remembers Margot. The children realize she is still locked in the closet, and they stand... (full context)
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
The children stand for a moment before the closet, which is now silent. Slowly, they unlock the... (full context)