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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes


by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. We have a third-person narrator in this novel, but how much of this narration is influenced by Will and Jim's way of looking at the world? That is, how "close" is the narrator to our main characters?
  2. The book is divided into three (four if you count the Prologue) parts: Arrivals, Pursuits, and Departures. Do these divisions make sense? What about the titles? Who is arriving/pursuing/departing in each?
  3. We discuss in our "In a Nutshell" that Something Wicked This Way Comes can be read as the dark side of Dandelion Wine, a novel Bradbury published in 1957 about one magical summer in the same Green Town, Illinois. Read this other novel and tell us what you think. Pay particular attention to thematic similarities regarding magic, seasons, and boyhood.
  4. What do you think is the target audience (age group) of Something Wicked This Way Comes? How might its meaning change for readers of different age groups?
  5. In the Prologue, we learn that Something Wicked This Way Comes is a tale of what happens one year when Halloween comes early. What elements of the novel may be described as Halloween-ish? What is the significance of Halloween in the novel?
  6. What kind of relationship does Will have with his father? How does this change over the course of the novel?
  7. Why is Mr. Dark so intent on capturing these two boys in particular?
  8. How much do Will and Jim's birthdays play a role in determining their characters? Does this mean that they can't help but exhibit the characteristics that they do?
  9. What's going on with that one-sentence chapter? What purpose does that serve in the novel?
  10. Charles tells his sons that the carnival preys on those unconnected to the community, those whose cries of help will not be heard. Does this seem true about the victims we've seen in the novel? What about the schoolteacher?

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