, Research Paper
An After Thought of Short Stories
?Earth may run red with wars. In the midst of battles, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death?.
What exactly was Robert Ingersoll thinking when he wrote that? Was he trying to tell us something that we already knew but were to blind to see? Well when I read the quote I immediately thought of two short stories After the Sirens by Hugh Hood, and Here There Be Tygers by Ray Bradbury. When reading these two pieces of material one can easily decipher that there is no validity to conflicts that end in death because then no one wins. In both of these stories the authors have depicted their philosophy on chaos and disaster even though it was not said in those exact words. Therefore, because the two stories have no relation there is a contrast in the message being sent to us.
?The Earth belongs to the living, not to the dead?.
This specific quote by Jefferson creates a mood for the readers to kind of set the setting for the whole idea of disaster. When using settings the authors are very careful to include certain details that will help the reader to picture in there mind what exactly is taking place. Hugh Hood did a very good job at this when he wrote the short story After the Sirens. This particular story took place at 4:45 in the morning, in North America somewhere close to New York City. Hood set several moods throughout the story such as frustration, panic, confusion and hysteria to allow the reader to feel what the characters felt. In Here There Be Tygers Ray Bradbury set the time frame to a futuristic point of view on Planet 7 of star system 84. In this particular short story Bradbury describes the planet in great detail giving the reader a feel for the great beauty of the wonderland referred to as a planet. One of the characters decides that he wants to use the planet to his benefit and then get the hell out of there, but as he soon finds out things do not exactly go as he plans. Therefore one can tell that the setting is one of the most important characteristics of a story of any kind.
A character is a person involved in a play, story, etc used to create personality. In After the Sirens the father of the family was made the main character and was portrayed as a hero like figure. He knows exactly what to do and how to handle the situation. He stays calm in order to save his family from any major damage. Another of the main characters was the wife. She was the exact opposite of the husband in the fact that she was totally hysterical. She added to the panic and allowed the reader to feel what she was feeling. Other characters in the story included the baby who did not really play a significant role in the whole idea, and the news broadcaster. The news broadcaster was also filled with a huge amount of hysteria and panic and set the whole mood for the reader. In the story Here There Be Tygers the main character was an uncaring, selfish man named Chatterton. He was more concerned of what he could get from the planet than the good the planet could do for him. Some of the changes that occurred with this character include the major fact that he dies due to his rude and careless behavior that caused the planet to take action and kill him. Other characters that had some what of a significant role include; Driscoll, the man who stayed on the planet after he took a great liking to it, then there was Captain Forester the leader of the whole expedition, and lastly Koestler who was basically just a follower along for the work and not really noticed a great deal.
Theme is the whole topic or idea that the author chooses to illustrate to the reader. The message that Hugh Hood while writing After the Sirens was sending to his reader was basically that war is pointless, no one wins and no one looses and the innocent bystanders are always the ones to get caught in the middle. Some specific quotes that Hood included in the reading were: ?Over in half an hour, and nobody won?, as well as ?How many died?? asked the father. ?Everybody in the area, almost no exceptions. You?re a statistic now, that?s what you are?. Lastly Hood said that ?They were the seventh, eighth, and ninth living persons to be brought there after the sirens?. Ray Bradbury?s main message that he was trying to send in Here There Be Tygers was that we should respect planets even if they don?t belong to us. There is no point to destroying it because soon enough there won?t be anything left to destroy and then where does that leave you? Some particular Quotes used were ?I have to much respect for other worlds to treat them the way you want to? as well as the idea suggested by Forester the perhaps the planet was a woman waiting for visitors for millions of years. Preparing herself, making herself beautiful, and putting on her best face. When Chatterton treated her badly, she warned him a few times, and then when he tried to ruin her beauty she eliminated him. In conclusion one can see that the whole idea that was sent by each author was not said exactly in the words most were looking for but described through the theme to send out a message to each reader.
Simply by pointing out certain topics such as setting, character and theme to help get the point across can prove the contrast between stories. Basically the events that occurred throughout each story most certainly have become clearer pointing out the setting and how it changes and the moods it sends to the reader. As well the character area points out the protagonist and how he/she changes and some of the other significant characters. Lastly, the theme part of the idea explains more clearly the author?s purpose and certain quotes, ideas and messages that he wrote to help the reader to understand it better. In conclusion one can see that it helps a reader to understand short story?s, novels etc when such topics as setting, character and theme can be clearly stated.