All Summer in a Day

by

Ray Bradbury

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Weeds Symbol Icon

Weeds and unruly plants appear multiple times in this story, sometimes unexpectedly. They are used to emphasize the damaging effects of deprivation from the sun: both the physical environment and the inhabitants of Venus have become cruel and inhospitable in the absence of sunlight. Because of the constant rains, Venus is covered in sickly pale, overgrown vegetation, a jungle that “grew and never stopped growing, tumultuously, even as you watched it.” The jungle is described in vivid, uncanny detail as a “nest of octopi, clustering up great arms of flesh-like weed.” Venus is an untamed, inhospitable environment which the constant rains have covered in tangled grey weeds. Just as the rains have created this hostile environment, they also seem to have fostered hostility among the people of Venus: the unruly children are described in the opening of the story as “so many roses, so many weeds, intermixed,” pressed close together as they peer out the window. In the absence of the sun and in their feverish anticipation, the children have become themselves like uncontrolled weeds. Just as the lack of sunlight has turned the surface of Venus into a frightening jungle, it has also turned the children into an unruly mob. Weeds symbolize the ugly behaviors that have proliferated unchecked in this harsh environment.

Weeds Quotes in All Summer in a Day

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

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:
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All Summer in a Day PDF

Weeds Symbol Timeline in All Summer in a Day

The timeline below shows where the symbol Weeds 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
...from Earth the generation before. In their eagerness, the children are tumbled together like unruly weeds. (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
The sunlight has revealed the massive jungle outside to be full of tumultuous, fleshy grey weeds, overgrown and bleached by the rain. In this strange environment, the children run and play... (full context)