Zero Hour


Ray Bradbury

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Themes and Colors
Impressionability and Manipulation Theme Icon
Adults vs. Children Theme Icon
Peace, War, and Alien Invasions Theme Icon
Imagination and Logic Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Zero Hour, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Impressionability and Manipulation

In “Zero Hour,” a short story written by Ray Bradbury, a group of aliens manipulates young children into helping the aliens invade the earth. Drill, the apparent leader of the aliens, convinces the impressionable children that Invasion is a game, and that the children can win if they successfully follow instructions and aid the aliens in coming to Earth. According to Drill, the rewards for winning the game are manifold: later bedtimes, two television…

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Adults vs. Children

In “Zero Hour,” Ray Bradbury depicts a perfect, cookie-cutter neighborhood in the suburbs of New York. However, amidst the meticulously manicured lawns and streets “lined with good green and peaceful trees,” a dangerous game called “Invasion” has cropped up, and every child in America under ten years old is in on it. According to Drill, the leader of the aliens, the goal of the game is for the children to help the aliens successfully…

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Peace, War, and Alien Invasions

In “Zero Hour,” a group of aliens (lead by an alien named Drill) convinces all children under ten years old to take part in an exciting game called Invasion. The goal of the game is for the children to successfully build specific apparatuses and other contraptions that will allow the aliens to teleport through the fourth dimension and invade the Earth. If the kids “win” the game, they will be rewarded lavishly with more…

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Imagination and Logic

Ray Bradbury’s “Zero Hour” depicts a picture-perfect suburban neighborhood in New York teeming with children, all playing game called “Invasion.” The game revolves around helping a group of aliens invade the earth. Parents across the nation—including seven-year-old Mink’s mother, Mrs. Morris—are unable to step out of their logic-driven mindsets and consider that the game is actually terrifyingly real, and that earth is on the brink of an alien invasion. Meanwhile, the children are…

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