All Summer in a Day

by

Ray Bradbury

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The Sun Symbol Analysis

The Sun Symbol Icon

The sun, the most important symbol in “All Summer in a Day,” embodies all of nature, and its effects on people demonstrate the inextricable connection between humans and the natural world. On Venus, the sun only comes out once every seven years, and for the remainder of the time people live underground in the darkness hiding from the pelting rain. Venus, therefore, is a society that is entirely removed from nature, something both caused by and symbolized by the absence of sun. Margot is the only character who can remember the sun, and in its absence, she has become not only sad and subdued, but also physically less healthy: she is “frail” and “washed out” like “an old photograph.” The other children initially seem healthy enough, but when they finally get to play outside in the sun, its revitalizing effects are immediately apparent: the children tumble and play with newfound energy, laughing and wondering at how nice the sun feels and looks. Clearly, the sun has made them physically and emotionally stronger, just as its absence weakened Margot. In addition, after this period in the sunlight, the children are suddenly awash with regret for locking Margot inside, as if the sun has made them more self-aware and empathetic. With its power to restore health as well as inspire empathy, the sun represents renewal, vitality, and the power of nature. Without sunlight, the people on Venus seem slightly less than human.

The Sun Quotes in All Summer in a Day

The All Summer in a Day quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Sun. 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

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:

Margot stood alone. She was a very frail girl who looked as if she had been lost in the rain for years and the rain had washed out the blue from her eyes and the red from her mouth and the yellow from her hair. She was an old photograph dusted from an album, whitened away, and if she spoke at all her voice would be a ghost.

Related Characters: Margot
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:

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:
Get the entire All Summer in a Day LitChart as a printable PDF.
All Summer in a Day PDF

The Sun Symbol Timeline in All Summer in a Day

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Sun 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
...as the rain outside begins to slow. It has been raining ceaselessly for years—on Venus, the sun comes out once every seven years, but only for an hour, and today is the... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
...she is nine years old. This means that most of the children can’t remember when the sun last came out, even though they dream about what it was like and long to... (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 quietly read her poem comparing... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
...that their teacher won’t return in time, and that this will cause them to miss the sun . Margot continues to watch and listen to the rain by herself. She is very... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
...company of other children, refusing to play games or sing songs unless they are about the sun . (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
...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 the sun, but William... (full context)
Jealousy, Bullying, and Isolation Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
In the classroom, William pushes Margot again. Then, he tells her the sun won’t actually come out—it was all a joke. The other children join in, laughing and... (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... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
The sun light has revealed the massive jungle outside to be full of tumultuous, fleshy grey weeds,... (full context)
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
...children stare up at the sky and the first cold drops fall on their faces. The sun fades and the wind begins to rise as the children turn and begin to trudge... (full context)
Nostalgia and Discontent Theme Icon
Anticipation and Disappointment Theme Icon
...and forever. They ask if it will really be seven more years before they see the sun again. (full context)