Zero Hour

by

Ray Bradbury

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Mink Morris Character Analysis

Mrs. Morris and Henry Morris’s daughter Mink is a spunky, spirited seven-year-old girl who, like many of the other neighborhood children, is obsessed with the Invasion game. She is extremely loyal to Drill, the leader of the aliens, as he promises that she will be queen after the Invasion. He also wins her loyalty by promising her (and the other children) that kids will rule the post-Invasion world, and there will be no more baths. Mink loves the excitement of the game and allows herself to be swept away in it, never pausing to think logically about if helping an alien Invasion is a good thing and if it’s perhaps more than just a game. She is a leader among the local neighborhood kids and doesn’t hesitate to boss them around—or call them “scarebabies” if they get too scared to play the invasion game, like Peggy Ann. Mink seems to love her mother but is annoyed by the way that Mrs. Morris doesn’t take her seriously and often laughs at the things she says.

Mink Morris Quotes in Zero Hour

The Zero Hour quotes below are all either spoken by Mink Morris or refer to Mink Morris. 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:
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon and Schuster edition of Zero Hour published in 1949.
“Zero Hour” Quotes

It was an interesting fact that this fury and bustle occurred only among the younger children. The older ones, those ten years and more, disdained the affair and marched scornfully off on hikes or played a more dignified version of hide-and seek on their own. […] The adult civilization passed and repassed the busy youngsters, jealous of the fierce energy of the wild tots, tolerantly amused at their flourishings, longing to join in themselves.

Related Characters: Mink Morris
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:

“I wanna play,” said Joseph.

“Can’t!” said Mink.

“Why not?”

“You’d just make fun of us.”

“Honest, I wouldn’t.”

“No. We know you. Go away or we’ll kick you.”

[…]

Joseph showed reluctance and a certain wistfulness. “I want to play,” he said.

“You’re old,” said Mink firmly.

“Not that old,” said Joe sensibly.

“You’d only laugh and spoil the Invasion.”

Related Characters: Mink Morris (speaker), Joseph Connors (speaker), Drill
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:

Mink talked earnestly to someone near the rosebush—though there was no one there.

These odd children.

Related Characters: Mrs. Mary Morris (speaker), Mink Morris, Drill
Related Symbols: The Rosebush
Page Number: 256-257
Explanation and Analysis:

Mink rebelled. “You’re laughing! You’ll kill Drill and everybody.”

Related Characters: Mink Morris (speaker), Mrs. Mary Morris, Drill
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:

“They couldn’t find a way to attack, Mom. Drill says—he says in order to make a good fight you got to have a new way of surprising people. That way you win. And he says also you got to have help from your enemy. […] And they couldn’t find a way to surprise Earth or get help. […] Until, one day,” whispered Mink melodramatically, “they thought of children! […] And they thought of how grownups are so busy they never look under rosebushes or on lawns!”

Related Characters: Mink Morris (speaker), Mrs. Mary Morris, Drill
Related Symbols: The Rosebush
Page Number: 259
Explanation and Analysis:

“And there’s something about kids under nine and imagination. It’s real funny to hear Drill talk.”

Mrs. Morris was tired. “Well, it must be funny. You’re keeping Drill waiting now. It’s getting late in the day and, if you want to have your Invasion before your supper bath, you’d better jump.”

“Drill says I won’t have to take baths […] He told all the kids that. No more baths. And we can stay up till ten o’clock and go to two televisor shows on Saturday ‘stead of one!”

Related Characters: Mrs. Mary Morris (speaker), Mink Morris (speaker), Drill
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

“We’re having trouble with guys like Pete Britz and Dale Jerrick. They’re growing up. They make fun. They’re worse than parents. They just won’t believe in Drill. They’re so snooty, ‘cause they’re growing up. You’d think they’d know better. They were little only a coupla years ago. I hate them worse. We’ll kill them first.”

“Your father and I last?”

“Drill says you’re dangerous. Know why? ‘Cause you don’t believe in Martians! They’re going to let us run the world. Well, not just us, but the kids over in the next block, too. I might be queen.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Mary Morris (speaker), Mink Morris (speaker), Drill, Mr. Henry Morris, Pete Britz, Dale Jerrick
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

“Mink, was that Peggy Ann crying?”

Mink was bent over in the yard, near the rosebush.

“Yeah. She’s a scarebaby. We won’t let her play, now. She’s getting too old to play. I guess she grew up all of a sudden.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Mary Morris (speaker), Mink Morris (speaker), Drill, Peggy Ann
Related Symbols: The Rosebush
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:

She was babbling wild stuff now. It came out of her. All the subconscious suspicion and fear that had gathered secretly all afternoon and fermented like a wine in her. All the little revelations and knowledges and sense that had bothered her all day and which she had logically and carefully and sensibly rejected and censored. Now it exploded in her and shook her to bits.

Related Symbols: The Attic
Page Number: 265
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Zero Hour LitChart as a printable PDF.
Zero Hour PDF

Mink Morris Character Timeline in Zero Hour

The timeline below shows where the character Mink Morris appears in Zero Hour. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“Zero Hour”
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Covered in dirt and sweat, Mink Morris runs into her house frantically looking for pots, pans, and various tools, which she... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Mink runs back outside “like a rocket,” the door slamming behind her. All along the street,... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Mink bosses the other children around, telling them where to place their various tools and kitchen... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
When Joseph leaves, the younger kids go back to their game. Mink makes an “apparatus” with the assorted tools and kitchen supplies, while a little girl takes... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
...down on the children in the yard and shakes her head with amusement. She notices Mink talking to someone by the rosebush, but no one is there. Mrs. Morris thinks the... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
When Mink comes in for lunch, she drinks her milk in a single gulp and tries to... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Mrs. Morris prods Mink to find out who Drill is and if he’s a new boy in town. Mink... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Mink accuses her mom of laughing and claims that Mrs. Morris will “kill Drill and everybody.”... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Continuing, Mink explains that according to Drill, “to make a good fight,” one needs the element of... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Mink then rambles on about four “dim-dims,” and Mrs. Morris realizes she means the four “dimensions.”... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
Backing out the door, Mink tells Mrs. Morris that she and the other kids have been having problems with some... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Halfway out the door, Mink asks her mother what “lodge-ick” is. Mrs. Morris answers that “logic is knowing what things... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Mink thanks her mother for lunch and runs out the door, only to return a few... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
...Both women admit they’re feeling tired because of their children. Sighing, Mrs. Morris says that Mink won’t stop going on about some “super-Invasion.” Helen laughs, saying that her kids are obsessed... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
...son, Tim, has a crush on a boy named Drill, and Mrs. Morris says that Mink likes him too, and that the word Drill “Must be a new password.” Helen is... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Mink runs in for a glass of water, and Mrs. Morris asks how the game is... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
...young girl named Peggy Ann, who runs away in tears. Noticing this, Mrs. Morris orders Mink to explain why Peggy Ann was crying. Mink, crouched near the rosebush, distractedly answers that... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Scowling, Mink mumbles that Drill is “stuck” and only made it halfway to Earth. She explains to... (full context)
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
...chimes, announcing that it’s 5:00 P.M. Mrs. Morris laughs to herself, realizing that (according to Mink) it is now “zero hour.” A car pulls into the driveway, and Mr. Morris gets... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Henry yells that his wife has gone crazy, but upon hearing Mink’s voice downstairs, Mrs. Morris hushes him. The buzzing intensifies, and the video phone begins to... (full context)
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
...Through the sounds of the buzzing and children’s giggles, Mrs. Morris and her husband hear Mink calling out for her parents. As Mink wanders up to the attic, the sound of... (full context)
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Mink calls out for her mother and father again, and the lock on the attic door... (full context)