Plot. A plot is a series of events related to a central conflict, or struggle. A plot includes the introduction of a conflict, its development, and its resolution. In a short story, the events in the plot usually lead from one to the next. Review the parts of a plot on page 512. Try to identify the climax as you read All Summer in a Day.
Science Fiction. Science fiction is imaginative literature based on scientific principles, discoveries, or laws. Science fiction writers often suspend or alter elements of reality to teach the reader something about our planet or ourselves. As you read, compare Bradburys picture of Venus with what scientists actually know about that planet (as shown in Readers Resource).
Science Connection. Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the second brightest object in our nighttime sky. (The moon is the brightest.) Often called Earths sister planet, Venus is similar to Earth in size and mass. Venus is covered by a nine-mile-thick layer of clouds, is much too hot for water to form, and has an atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide. Life as we know it cannot exist under such conditions. Venuss heavy clouds trap great amounts of solar heat as the result of what is known as the greenhouse effect. In fact, Venus is so hot that its rocks glow red with heat.
Biology Connection. You may have heard about the wintertime blues or noticed that some people seem happier and more energetic in spring, summer, and early fall than they do in winter. All people react to seasonal changes to some degree. For some people, however, winter and its decreased sunlight can cause serious emotional problems. People affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, feel very depressed and tired in winter. They often retreat from family and friends and have trouble concentrating. Doctors have found that controlled exposure to bright light can make people with SAD happier and more productive.
Similes and Metaphors. A simile is a comparison using like or as. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken or written about as if it were another. Look for similes and metaphors as you read All Summer in a Day.
Imagine that you are describing the sun to someone who has never seen or felt it before. In what way would you describe the sun? To what could you compare it?