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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Good vs. Evil

This theme frames the central issues of the book and is raised directly in the title. Something Wicked This Way Comes implies that evil is descending upon an otherwise good town. Evil is sensed cle...

Time

This theme is intimately connected to "Youth," but also has a force of its own given Bradbury's focus on describing exact times of day and exact times of the year. In Something Wicked This Way Come...

The Supernatural

The supernatural in Something Wicked This Way Comes is used primarily in connection with perpetrating evil, although "good" magic is ultimately used to conquer the carnival freaks. Supernatural ele...

Youth

Something Wicked This Way Comes is told from the perspective of adolescents and celebrates youth as a magical period of time. Several adult characters in the novel are obsessed with regaining their...

Innocence

The novel captures a single week in the lives of thirteen-year-old boys on the cusp of maturity. The novel may be read as detailing the loss of innocence, or, alternatively, as a tribute to boyhood...

Fear

Fear is experienced as a particular bodily sensation in Something Wicked This Way Comes. No longer simply a mental reaction, fear has incredible physical power over people. It is also the one essen...

Friendship

Friendship is at the heart of Something Wicked This Way Comes. Two adolescent boys, Jim and Will, struggle together against evil, a fight that tests their friendship. As the novel continues, the di...

Transformation

Characters in Something Wicked This Way Comes undergo great physical transformations to become, in most cases, the freaks of a traveling carnival. Their dreams are twisted into nightmares, and thei...
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