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The Illustrated Man
Transcript of The Illustrated Man
is The Illustrated Man himself. He is of an unknown age and
bears no other name. His most obvious and recognizable
feature is the multitude of tattoos (or illustrations) that
cover his entire body aside from his head, hands, and feet.
These tattoos move and change each night to show visions
of the future; they tell stories of people from all across the
galaxy. Although The Illustrated Man is not mentioned in
the majority of the novel, he is the most crucial character. "I didn't know he was illustrated then. I only knew that he was tall; once
well muscled, but now, for some reason, going to fat. I recall that his arms
were long, and the hands thick, but that his face was like a child's, set
upon a massive body." (Bradbury, 1) "As for the rest of him, I cannot say how I sat and stared, for he was a riot
of rockets and fountains and people, in such intricate detail and colour that
you could hear the voices murmuring small and muted, from the crowds
that inhabited his body. When his flesh twitched, the tiny mouths flickered,
the tiny green-and-gold eyes winked, the tiny pick hands gestured. There
were yellow meadows and blue rivers and mountains and stars and suns
and planets spread in a Milky Way across his chest." (Bradbury, 2) Point of View The novel is written in third person limited. In each story, the author narrates the events, using the thoughts and feelings of one main protagonist. Sometimes the narrator will go indepth with what the character feels, but often keeps in down to fact and actual events. Detail in the thoughts of the characters generally occurs more when they are alone. When said character is with other people, dialogue takes up the majority of the plot. Book Cover The cover of this novel suits the story in an obvious way; it is simply a picture depicting the title character, The Illustrated Man. Although he is the character behind the entire plot, this man does not appear in the majority of the story. His life and background are not the main theme of the book, but they are crucial to the plotline. Without him, the rest of the short stories would not exist in this novel. He brings them together, which is why he represents the book so well. Setting Outer Space (Traveling between planets)
These setting descriptions generally depict an endless void, which is really all space is. Some of the characters see it as miraculous and magical, while others view it as never-ending darkness and unknown matter.
"There were only the great diamonds and sapphires and emerald mists and velvet inks of space, with God's voice mingling among the crystal fire." (Bradbury, 26)
"Mostly it was space. So much space. I liked the idea of nothing on top, nothing on the bottom, abd a whole lot of nothing in between, and me in the middle of the nothing." (Bradbury, 108) Foreign Planets
When the story is centred around a planet other than Earth, it is always different than most people of our day would imagine. In most cases, there is native life inhabiting this particular planet and often humans will have created settlements or taken over land. The lack of oxygen has proved to be of little problem. Earth
These stories depict a futuristic Earth, where robots and machines work for humansm accomplishing everyday tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and even taking care of children. Often, the Earth is known as a place run solely by government and warfare. It outlines a future of destruction and the collapse of our civilizations. Plot The plot varies in each of the short stories. The main idea of the novel is that, prior to becoming The Illustrated Man, the main character went to be tattoed across his entire body as to continue to work at a circus, showing off to people who come to view the art he displays. However, the woman he had paid to create his body art was an unknown witch. She drew enchanted scenes across him, which shift and change every night to tell the future. Each of the stories in this novel are one of the scenes out on his skin while he sleeps. Theme The main theme that I have come across in this book is the self-destructive habits of humans. Each story shows a way that our species is bringing new damage upon itself. Although unintentional, it is still an impending threat that may present itself clearly in the future, as predicted by Ray Bradbury's novel. Some of the main occurances of this in the stories are machines created by human hands becoming too powerful and humans waging war against each other, only to ultimately harm themselves. The main themes of exploration, innovation, and self-destruction tie all of the stories together into one novel. Conflict Man vs. Man
"So we destroyed everything and ruined everything, like the fools that we were and the fools that we are. We killed millions." (Bradbury, 35) Man vs. Himself
"We’re all fools, all the time. It’s just we’re a different kind each day. We think, I’m not a fool today. I’ve learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact that we’re not perfect and live accordingly." (Bradbury, 108) There are several stories with the main conflict of man vs. man. These are generally set around warfare, where greed or recklessness has captured the minds of the characters. One of the best examples of this conflict is in the short story titled, 'The Other Foot'. The man vs. himself conflict appears in almost every one of these stories, the most dominent being 'No Particular Night or Morning' and 'The Long Rain'. This conflict involves characters struggling to keep themselves from going crazy or being affected mentally by their current situation. Many of these plotlines show situations that test the determination and willpower of a human to a very great extent. Tone The tone of this novel is serious and matter-of-fact. There is very little humour, and the writing is generally devoid of emotion. I believe the author chose this type of tone for the reason that each of the stories are predictions of the future. They are all stoies of events to come, which means that fact and events are the most prominent and important aspects. Similies "Still the Illustrated Man's pictures glowed like charcoals in the half light, like scattered rubies and emeralds, with Rouault colors and Picasso colors and the long, pressed-out El Greco bodies." (Bradbury, 3) Metaphors "They were scattered now into a dark sea; and the ship, in a million pieces, went on, a meteor swarm seeking a lost sun." (Bradbury, 19) Connections
Characters and Plot
Setting and Theme
Tone and Literary Devices
Conflict and Theme