The Last Night of the World

by

Ray Bradbury

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Coffee Symbol Icon

The man and woman spend their last night on Earth sipping coffee, which symbolizes the way that small pleasures can be a source of comfort, joy, and stability. Considering the world is going to end in a matter of hours, it seems strange that the couple would spend their time chatting and idly sipping coffee. However, the husband eventually tells his wife that, besides his family, the only things he’ll really miss on Earth are “the change in the weather, and a glass of ice water when it’s hot, and […] sleeping.” With this, the man points to how small, simple pleasures can be a significance source of happiness. In addition, the couple spends their evening “like always,” which includes reading the newspaper, drinking coffee, and watching television. For the couple, drinking coffee provides a semblance of stability and normalcy to what would otherwise be an anxiety-inducing, chaotic evening.

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Coffee Symbol Timeline in The Last Night of the World

The timeline below shows where the symbol Coffee appears in The Last Night of the World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Last Night of the World
Denial and Acceptance Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...know, as she hasn’t given it much thought. The man pours himself a cup of coffee, listening to his two daughters playing with blocks in the parlor. The smell of the... (full context)
Fear and Bravery Theme Icon
Denial and Acceptance Theme Icon
Self-Absorption vs. Global Awareness Theme Icon
...or germ warfare, but he says it is none of those things. Slowly stirring his coffee, the man says, “But just, let’s say, the closing of a book.” (full context)
Fear and Bravery Theme Icon
Denial and Acceptance Theme Icon
Self-Absorption vs. Global Awareness Theme Icon
Pouring another cup of coffee, the man asks his wife why she thinks the end of the world has to... (full context)