"All Summer in a Day", a Ray Bradbury short story, was originally written in 1959 for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It is a futuristic view of life on Venus. Though we now know that Venus is uninhabitable by humans, this work depicts a thriving, albeit miserable, colony of “rocket men and women” and their families. On Bradbury’s Venus, it violently rains with hurricane force for seven years at a time, and the sun only breaks through for a predictable two hours between these downpours.
Margot moved to Venus with her parents when she was four. She can remember Earth and the warm, sunny days from her early childhood. On Venus, she and her other nine-year-old classmates are anxiously waiting for the two hour window of sunlight that will be its first appearance for the homesteaders of Venus in seven years. Margot’s classmates don’t consciously remember the sun. They are cruelly envious that Margot does.
In their classroom, the children excitedly ask their teacher about the coming event. She says that the scientists have promised the two hour reprieve from the horrid conditions in which they live. In preparation for it, the students sing songs, write poems, and put paintings of sunny days on the walls.
Margot, who appears visibly washed out and drained from the absence of sunlight, isn’t the only one excited about it, but she is the most affected. Since arriving on Venus, she’s never been able to enjoy her life underground and without the sun. She is desperate to return to Earth, or at least see the sun for a bit.
The Venusian children hate Margot. They think she is strange. She is so tormented by the stormy weather that she has gone half mad and half catatonic at times. She refuses to shower, because it is too much like the sound of the rain, and can’t participate in games because she’s gone numb. The children tease her, saying the sun is not coming.
In the moments before the sun is due to show, the children shove Margot down the tunnels and into a closet, locking the door. They see the sun and forget all about Margot. Everyone goes out and plays, enjoying the two hours until the rain begins to fall again.
As the children return to their underground home, one of the girls remembers Margot and is struck with feelings of guilt. She reminds the other children what they have all done. With a palpable sense of guilt, they all go to the closet and release their captive.
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