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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes


by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes Chapter 39 Summary

  • Will reassures his father, insisting that he has always been there to help the boys.
  • Charles refutes the point. He tells his sons that the carnival preys on those unconnected to the community, those whose cries of help will not be heard.
  • Charles launches into a lecture on good and evil, autumn and summer. He says that there is fear on both sides, and that goodness has its own weapons.
  • He begins talking of love. He tries to formulate his concepts in words that will resonate with the boys. He wants to talk about love as common cause and shared experience.
  • He tells the boys to imagine a soldier and a farmer put together for a long train ride who bond over a love of running.
  • Charles pauses, but Will and Jim's eyes both urge him on.
  • Charles finishes his little speech. He estimates that the autumn people will visit them in about two hours, given the closing time at the carnival.
  • Jim goes to the window and listens to the calliope. He asks if it is bad.
  • Will's father reminds him that you can't get something for nothing. He cautions that the carnival people make empty promises.
  • Jim asks where these people came from.
  • Charles launches into another mini-lecture, this one describing "deadfalls, mantraps, bone-crunchers, head-achers, flesh-twitchers, soul-skinners" (39.30).
  • The boys realize that Mr. Cooger and Mr. Dark are both centuries old, since the carnival allows them to subtract years at will.
  • Mr. Halloway describes the carnival people in full terms, telling the boys that the carnival lives off of fear and pain and guilt.
  • He tells them that his knowledge is bodily: he feels it. He tastes it. His skeleton knows.

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